The humble female condom

Female condoms can help prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy

"Too often, affordable, effective medicines and simple health supplies don’t reach the women who need them." said UN Commission of Life-Saving Commodities.

The female condom is underused due to misunderstanding of how it’s used, who can use them, high prices and difficulty in accessing them.

IPPF is working to change that – advocating and providing female condoms for the world’s most vulnerable people who need them most.  In 2012, IPPF provided over 5 million female condoms.

As with the traditional male condom, the female condom is the only contraception method that prevents against HIV, other STIs, and unplanned pregnancy. Most importantly it offers women a choice - which is crucial as individuals have diverse needs in differing situations.

September 16, 2013 marks the second annual Global Female Condom Day – a day of education and advocacy to increase awareness, access, and use of female condoms.

10 important facts about the female condom:

1. The first generation female condom (FC1), manufactured by the Female Health Company (FHC) came on the market in 1992.

2. The female condom is not just for women and people of all genders can use it for vaginal and anal sex.

3. The female condom can actually increase pleasure for both partners as it adjusts to body temperature during sex, creating a natural and intimate feel, and increased stimulation from the outer ring.

4. Unlike male condoms, female condoms can be used even when the penis isn’t erect. This allows couples to stay close after climax, which can enhance intimacy.

5. The female condom offers increased protection against STIs by covering the external genitalia.

6. Female condoms have no side effects and also come latex-free.

7. Female condoms do not require a prescription or clinician involvement, and provide non-hormonal dual protection from unintended pregnancy, and STIs, including HIV.

8. Female condoms provide more options for safer sex and with this variety can actually contribute to higher rates of protected sex.

9. Pre-lubricated female condoms offer women a solution to vaginal dryness, and can enhance their pleasure.

10. Two different female condom products are currently WHO/UNPFA prequalified (FC2 and Cupid1) with various other products in development.


Watch these two short videos on how to use the female condom for vaginal use ( and anal use (