If you’re a guy who’s sexually active, chances are you’re concerned about the best ways to protect yourself—and your partner—from an unplanned pregnancy. Also at issue are the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases, especially since many infected people are not even aware that they are carriers. And if that’s the case, then you should check out the female condom. Although it is a form of birth control that has been around for a while, there are a still a lot of misconceptions around it—and information that guys should be aware of in order to make good contraceptive choices with their partners.
It does prevent pregnancy.
According to Planned Parenthood, the female condom is a barrier method to prevent pregnancy by preventing the sperm to come into contact with the egg. However, like all barrier methods, this method is not as foolproof as, for instance, injections like the Depo-Provera shots. Statistically, if a couple uses the female condom exactly as it was intended, it is 95 percent effective. However, if mistakes are made—such as mistakes on how it is inserted—then the effectiveness can drop to around 79 percent.
If there is a mishap in bed—for instance, if ejaculation occurs on the outside of the condom—it is recommended that couples consider emergency contraception to help prevent pregnancy.
It also protects against disease—maybe.
Because of the coverage it gives, the female condom can also protect against the transmission of disease. Maybe. However, couples should be aware that there is not enough clinical evidence to prove this in the way it had been proven for male condoms. If you or your partner have an STD, then, it is probably a good idea to talk to your doctor or your partner’s gynecologist to ask about whether this device is best for your needs.
It is easy and cheap to buy and use.
There are many advantages to female condoms in that they can be bought at any drugstore cheaply—around eight dollars for a package of three— – and they do not require a physician to write a prescription for them or insert them, as is the case for some forms of birth control.
They are also easy to use, once you get used to them, according to Web MD. They are shaped like a tube with a flexible ring at each end. The closed end is inserted deep into the vagina so that it bumps up against the cervix to act as a barrier against the sperm. It should be removed immediately after sex and, like male condoms, can only be used once.
It can be used for vaginal or anal sex.
Female condoms—like male condoms—can be used for either vaginal or anal sex to help protect against disease transmission. This is especially important for anal sex, which is the riskiest form of sexual intercourse, since the delicate tissues around the anus can tear more easily, making it easier for disease-causing viruses to spread.
It is ideal for those with latex allergies.
For couples who have latex allergies, contraception can be a bit tricky. While there are many forms of birth control that bypass this altogether (such as shots or the Pill), when it comes to disease prevention, things are more difficult. Most male condoms are made from latex, except for those that are made from lambskin. However, lambskin condoms will not protect against the spread of HIV and other viruses. Female condoms, however, are entirely latex free.
It can be used with lubricants.
Most guys are aware that using petroleum-based products with latex condoms is dangerous, as it can erode the condom itself and allow for unplanned pregnancies and the transmission of disease. However, the female condom can be safely used with either oil or water-based lubricants, which gives couples more freedom of choice.
It can enhance the sexual experience.
Using a female condom does not have to be a clinical experience or ruin the romantic mood. In fact, many couples will incorporate the insertion of the female condom into the routine of foreplay. Also, many women report that the outer ring of the condom provides extra clitoral stimulation during sex, which can also enhance the pleasure the couple derives from the sexual encounter.
It is an either-or choice.
When it comes to choosing between a male and a female condom, however, it is important that guys—and their partners—be aware that this is an either-or choice. In other words, you can use a male or female condom, but not both. The two are not meant to go together and this can cause tears during intercourse. This is also an important point to consider.
In short, for guys who are looking for an alternative to more traditional means of preventing disease transmission and unwanted pregnancy, it is a good idea to discuss the use of a female condom with your partner—while still being aware of the definite down sides that this device can bring.
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