Exploring Your Options: Comparing Female Condoms vs. Male Condoms for Safer Sex

Unlike men, females have a range of contraception options like oral contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices (IUD), injections, and many more. However, despite so many options, there are no perfect methods.

For example, oral contraceptive pills used by women are the most common way of female contraception. However, these pills contain hormones and may cause side effects. All this means there is still a reason for finding new contraception methods. In addition, there is a role for female condoms.

Moreover, female condoms have few distinct benefits not provided by any other contraception methods. Unlike other methods, female condoms can be used when and as needed with little preparation. One does not essentially need to use them daily, but just when planning to have sex.

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However, perhaps the biggest benefit of using condoms is that they provide protection from STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Thus, they are not just for preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Further, using female condoms is also one of the safest contraception methods. They rarely cause any side effects. After all, using condoms does not involve ingesting hormones or applying some toxic materials to the body.

Despite so many distinct benefits, female condom remains among the neglected methods of contraception. Many women hesitate to use them due to limited knowledge about female condoms.

How to use an internal condom?

Quite like male condoms, female condoms also provide barrier contraception and help prevent STDs. However, using female condoms does require some practice.

Nevertheless, using internal condoms is not complex, and getting used to them takes some practice. Below are the steps to follow when using internal condom: [1]

  • Open the package carefully: Female condoms come in a small package that you should open carefully. Don’t use scissors or teeth to open the package, which could damage the condom.
  • Find a comfortable position: You can use a female condom in any position you find comfortable, such as lying down, standing up, or sitting. It’s essential to relax and take your time to insert the condom correctly.
  • Insert the condom: The female condom is inserted into the vagina. Hold the condom with the open end facing up, and squeeze the sides of the inner ring together. Insert the condom into the vagina and push it up as far as possible.
  • Check the placement: Once the condom is in place, you should feel the outer ring outside the vagina. Ensure the condom is not twisted or bunched up inside the vagina.
  • Use lubrication: Female condoms can be used with or without additional lubrication. If you want to use lubrication, make sure to use water-based or silicone-based lubricants.
  • After intercourse: After you and your partner have finished having sex, gently pull the condom out of the vagina by twisting the outer ring and disposing of it in the trash. Don’t flush the condom down the toilet.

What are the disadvantages of female condoms?

Female condoms are still not very popular for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest reason for their low popularity is that most women do not know much about them. Thus they are hesitant to try them.

Using female condoms requires some practice before one can use them regularly and comfortably. However, most women are not able to overcome this initial barrier. Nevertheless, with some practice, they are pretty easy to use. [2]

A few other downsides of female condoms are:

  • Cost: Female condoms can be more expensive than other forms of contraception, such as male condoms or hormonal methods. However, some organizations provide them for free or at a reduced cost.
  • Availability: Female condoms may not be as widely available as other forms of contraception, making it harder to obtain them.
  • Sensation: Some people find that female condoms can decrease sensation during sex, reducing sexual pleasure.
  • Noise: Female condoms can make more noise during sex than male condoms, which some people find distracting or embarrassing.
  • Appearance: Some people find that female condoms are more visible during sex than male condoms, making them self-conscious.

As one can see that these are not significant issues, just minor ones with female condoms. Most of these issues can be readily overcome.

For example, one can save on costs by ordering female condoms online, which also solves the availability problem. All other issues are more about getting used to female condoms.

Female condom vs. male condom feeling

The experience of using female and male condoms can be different for different people. For example, some people may prefer one type over another, while others may find both types equally comfortable.

In general, female condoms can feel different than male condoms because they are inserted into the vagina rather than being placed over the penis.

However, some people find that female condoms provide more sensation and allow for greater movement and flexibility during sex, as they are not as restrictive as male condoms. Additionally, female condoms are made of a softer, more flexible material than male condoms, making them more comfortable to use.

On the other hand, some people may find that male condoms are easier to use and feel more natural during sex, as they don’t require insertion into the body. Male condoms are also widely available and can be less expensive than female condoms.

So, as one can see, it is more of a matter of personal choices and getting used to female condoms. Once used to using female condoms, they are pretty comfortable and often result in better sensation.

Do female condoms have sizes?

Yes, female condoms come in different sizes, although much fewer size options are available compared to male condoms.

Female condoms are typically designed to fit most women, regardless of their size or shape. However, some brands of female condoms offer different sizes or variations to accommodate individual preferences and needs.

One of the most common female condoms is the FC2, which is the only female condom currently approved by the FDA in the United States. [3]

FC2 measures 76-83 mm in width and 164-184 mm in length [4].

The FC2 is designed to fit most women, but some people may find it too loose or tight. Some other brands of female condoms offer variations in size or shape, such as smaller or larger sizes or differently shaped outer rings.

pasante-Internal-condoms-minFor example, the Pasante Internal Condom has a similar size: 76-90mm width and 173mm length.

view on WorldCondoms

Uniq-LADY-Female-Condom-minUNIQ Lady Condom on the other hand measures 65±2 mm in width and 180±2mm length.

view on WorldCondoms

It’s important to choose a female condom that fits properly and feels comfortable during sex. If you’re not sure which size of a female condom to use, you can talk to a healthcare provider or sex educator who can help you select the best option for you.

Overall, female condoms can be a good option for people who want a non-hormonal method of contraception or who have difficulty using other forms of contraception.


  1. How to Use a Internal Condom | CDC. Published February 10, 2022. Accessed February 22, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/condomeffectiveness/internal-condom-use.html
  2. Female condoms. NHS.uk. Published December 21, 2017. Accessed February 22, 2023. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/contraception/female-condoms/
  3. U.S. FDA approves new, cheaper female condom. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN10547381. Published March 11, 2009. Accessed February 22, 2023.
  4. FC2 Female Condom: SUMMARY OF SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS DATA (SSED). Accessed February 22, 2023. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf8/p080002b.pdf

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