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Female Condoms
Female Condoms
The female condom is a thin polyurethane sheath, which lines the vagina and some of the external genitalia. It is a barrier method of birth control and does not contain a spermicide.

Effectiveness
Failure rates among all users in typical 1st year use are about 20%. With consistent and proper use, failure rates may be as low as 5%.

Proper Use
The Reality Female Condom should be inserted according to accompanying instructions, up to 8 hours before intercourse and removed within 8 hours after insertion. Repeated intercourse requires insertion of a new female condom. It should not be used with a latex male condom since displacement would then be more likely to occur. Spermicides such as nonoxynol-9 can be used with the female condom.

Advantages
It is available without prescription in supermarkets and pharmacies. (At the present time, if you have a Medical Assistance card, you may be eligible to get up to 12 condoms at a time. Check with the pharmacist.) Since the female condom covers the external genitalia, it potentially provides additional disease protection over vaginal barrier methods. Theoretically, there is no contact between semen and vagina, unlike other methods. The shelf life of the Reality female condom is 3 years.

Disadvantages

Insertion can be rather difficult and actual use may be awkward. Consistent and correct use is necessary.