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Female condom- everything I need to know

What is the female condom?

A female condom is a soft, loose fitting, non-latex pouch that lines the inside of the vagina or anus during sex.

It is sometimes called the internal condom because it is inserted inside the vagina.

The female condom lowers your risk of both unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

How does the female condom prevent pregnancy and STIs?

  • Prevent pregnancy: In order to get pregnant, sperm must enter the vagina, swim into the uterus and fertilize an egg that has been released from the ovaries during ovulation. The female condom prevents semen (cum) that contains sperm from getting inside the vagina and reaching an egg. And thus prevents pregnancy.
  • Prevent STIs: In order to pass on most STIs, bodily fluids (anal fluids, vaginal fluids, semen or blood) from someone who has an STI must come into contact with someone else’s mucus membranes inside the penis, mouth, anus, or vagina. The female condom prevents bodily fluids from coming into contact with mucus membranes. And thus prevents the spread of STIs. 

How effective is the internal condom?

  • Internal condoms are 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. This means that if 100 people use condoms correctly for one year, only 5 people will get pregnant.
  • Because internal condoms may be used incorrectly, they are closer to 80% effective at preventing pregnancy with typical use.
  • Internal condoms offer excellent protection against most STIs, but are less effective in preventing STIs that are spread from genital skin- to-skin contact, like herpes or HPV, because condoms may not cover all of the affected areas.

How old do you have to be to buy condoms?

  • Anyone can buy condoms. You don’t have to be a certain age, show an ID, or have a prescription.
  • You can buy condoms lots of places, like your local pharmacy, shop, supermarket, and convenience store. You can also sometimes get them for free at all public health care facilities, and learning institutions such as universities. 

Where do you get female condoms?

You can buy condoms at your local pharmacy, shop, supermarket, and convenience store. Many public health facilities give them away free of charge. You do not need a prescription to buy condoms, and you do not need ID. People of all ages can easily buy condoms.

Worried about how you will afford the female condoms you need? Not sure where to get them? Get free condoms here! (Link)

How Much Do female Condoms Cost?

Female condoms are a little more expensive and cost about 200 to 800 shillings per condom. Some health centers and family planning clinics have female condoms available for free. 

Too scared or embarrassed to buy condoms? You really don’t need to worry: There is no need to feel embarrassed. Though many people may feel self-conscious when it comes to sexual matters, sex is natural, healthy, and a part of most people’s adult life. You can take pride in the fact that you're being safe, responsible, and respectful of your partner(s) by making sure you have condoms to protect yourself and each other.

Advantages and disadvantages of female condoms


  • Condoms are the only birth control method that also reduce your risk of getting STIs.
  • You only have to use this method when you have sex.
  • You can put it in up to 8 hours in advance, so you don’t necessarily have to do anything right before you have sex.
  • Because it goes inside of you, your partner’s penis doesn’t have to be fully erect.
  • During vaginal sex, the outer ring can stimulate the clitoris.
  • It is non-latex and can be used by people with a latex allergy.
  • There are no hormonal side effects. People who can’t or do not want to take hormonal birth control can use this method.
  • They don’t affect your ability to get pregnant in the future.
  • You don’t need a prescription to buy them.


  • They’re relatively expensive: approximately 200 shillings each.
  • You can see it on the outside of the vagina. Some people don’t like that.

Female Condom Dos and Don’ts

DO use a female condom from start to finish, every time you have vaginal sex.

DO read the condom package insert and check the expiration date.

Do use quality condoms by checking if it is approved by KEBS

DO make sure there are no tears or defects.

DO use lubricant to help prevent the condom from slipping and tearing.

DO store female condoms in a cool, dry place.

DON’T use a male condom with a female condom, as this can cause tearing.

DON’T reuse a female condom.

DON’T flush female condoms as they may clog the toilet.

How To Insert and Remove a Female Condom

  1. Carefully open and remove female condom from package to prevent tearing.
  1. The thick, inner ring with closed end is used for placing in the vagina and holds condom in place. The thin, outer ring remains outside of body, covering vaginal opening.
  1. Find a comfortable position. While holding outside of condom at closed end, squeeze sides of inner ring together with your thumb and forefinger and insert into vagina. It is similar to inserting a tampon.
  1. Using your finger, push inner ring as far up as it will go until it rests against cervix. The condom will expand naturally and you may not feel it.
  1. Be sure condom is not twisted. The thin, outer ring should remain outside vagina.
  1. Guide partner’s penis into opening of female condom. Stop intercourse if you feel penis slip between condom and walls of vagina or if outer ring is pushed into vagina.
  1. To remove, gently twist outer ring and pull female condom out of vagina.
  1. Throw away female condom in trash after using it one time. Do not reuse.

Talking to Your Partner about Condoms

Deciding to have sex, either for the first time or with a new person, is always a big decision. The most important thing you can do when you’ve decided to take it to the next level is to communicate with your partner! It takes two people to consent to having sex and two people to prevent STIs and pregnancy.

Talking with your partner about your choice to use condoms can be hard. Here are some tips to get the conversation started and overcome some of the most common arguments.


  1. Start by getting familiar with condoms. Knowing how to use one with your partner can help you overcome any fears and keep your partner from saying something like “I don’t know how to use one, so let’s just skip it” conversation.
  2. Your partner may say, “but you’re (I’m) on the pill!” Let them know that the pill can only protect you from getting pregnant, and will not stop you from getting an STI or HIV. For LGBT people, pregnancy may not be a concern. But remember, any time you are choosing to have sex, condoms are important to protect against STIs and HIV.
  3. This may lead to a question of “Don’t you trust me?” Let them know that you trust them, but that this will be the safest way to protect BOTH of you, since many STIs don’t show symptoms. Also, who is to say that you exes did not have STIs? You can go get tested together! Going together to a local clinic can help build trust in your relationship.
  4. Then there is the famous “if you love me then you wouldn’t need to wear one”. But this goes both ways. If they love you back, they will accept your decision to use a condom, respect your desire to keep you both safe and healthy, and understand that you won’t have sex until they do.
  5. When the time comes and you are ready to have sex, your partner may say that they don’t have any condoms. Come prepared with some condoms of your own or suggest that you go to the store and get them together. This way you can select the ones that will work best for both of you. 
  6. Just grab a condom and put it on yourself or on your partner. You don’t need to say anything. This action makes it clear what you mean. 

When the time comes and you are ready to have sex, your partner may say that they don’t have any condoms. Come prepared with some condoms of your own or suggest that you go to the store and get them together. This way you can select the ones that will work best for both of you. 

There are many excuses a partner may use to keep condoms out of the equation when having sex. Be prepared and comfortable with your possible responses to make sure your voice is heard and respected.

Did you learn something?

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