How are female condoms used for contraception?

Updated: Dec 10, 2018
  • Author: Frances E Casey, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Answer

The Reality female condom is a polyurethane sheath intended for one-time use, similar to the male condom. It contains 2 flexible rings and measures 7.8 cm in diameter and 17 cm long (see the image below). The ring at the closed end of the sheath serves as an insertion mechanism and internal anchor that is placed inside the vaginal canal. The other ring forms the external patent edge of the device and remains outside of the canal after insertion.

Female condom. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Female condom. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The female condom prevents pregnancy by acting as a barrier to the passage of semen into the vagina. Simultaneous use of both the female and male condom is not recommended because they may adhere to each other, leading to slippage or displacement of either device.


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