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Female Condoms - A Safer Sex Alternative

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Updated January 21, 2014

Female Condoms - A Safer Sex Alternative
Keith Brofsky/Getty Images

Price :

Female condoms are somewhat more expensive than male condoms, although certain health departments will provide them to individuals for free.

Prices should be going down soon. In early 2009, a less expensive version of the female condom that has long been available overseas was approved for sale in the United States.

Ease of Acquisition :

Most, but not all, drug stores sell the female condom, and it is also available online.

Use During Vaginal Intercourse :

Female condoms are designed for use during vaginal intercourse, although getting used to them may take some practice.

Use During Oral Sex :

Female condoms are not terribly well suited for use as a barrier for oral sex, although they are better than nothing and will stay in place. They provide a fairly limited surface area when compared to a dental dam, but do allow for protected penetration with the tongue.

Use During Anal Sex :

The female condom is not currently approved for use during anal sex. Although some gay and heterosexual couples do use it for this activity, the female condom is not designed for anal sex and there are still questions about safety and effectiveness.

The Verdict :

The female condom is the only female controlled contraceptive that also protects against STDs. Although it can be slightly intimidating at first, it's actually quite easy to use. Many couples enjoy the different sensations that they experience while using the female condom. Some men even prefer it to the male alternative. It can be very helpful to put lube both inside the condom and outside the condom, and some people say that using the female condom in this way gives a feeling that is more like unprotected sex.

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