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Sex Talk: Condoms aren’t just for men

Everybody knows about condoms — or everybody should, but today I want to shine a light on female condoms.

Female or vaginal condoms are latex or nitrile pouches that one can insert into the vagina (or rear) to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection. These are not to be confused with dental dams which are small, square pieces of latex that are used for protection against infection during oral-vaginal or oral-anal sex.

Basically, they are two flexible rings connected by nitrile or latex, like a sleeve, although one end is closed. Using them is pretty simple, but may require some getting used to.

When using a vaginal condom, take the closed end and insert it into the vagina, a little bit like you would a tampon or menstrual cup, but keep going as far as you can while still letting it hang out a bit. After that, they work pretty much like your average condom, and when you’re done you just pinch the ends and take it right out! Easy-peasey.

If you don’t like the fit or feel of regular condoms, vaginal ones are a viable alternative that you might like better. It might feel roomier and not as tight on the phallus, and can also be better for those who experience inflammation or other irritations with regular condoms. The vaginal condom acts as a protective barrier because it does not cause as much friction during intercourse. It is normal to feel the vaginal condom move around a little, but as long as it doesn’t slip all the way inside the vagina you should be fine.

One bummer is that they can be a little more pricey than regular condoms, but what price can you put on safety?

If you’re interested in more details or information, Planned Parenthood and Avert have good pages on vaginal condoms on their websites.

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