Condoms are the only type of contraception that protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Female condoms (often called ‘Femidom’) are made from very thin soft plastic called polyurethane, and are worn inside the vagina to prevent semen getting to the womb.
When used correctly, female condoms protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
*for typical use (effectiveness for perfect use 95%)
Take the female condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear it.
Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end and insert it into the top of the vagina, up to 8 hours before sex. Make sure that the large ring at the open end of the female condom covers the area around the vaginal opening.
When you are having sex, make sure that the penis enters into the condom. Remove the condom immediately after sex by gently pulling it out, twisting the large ring to prevent semen leaking out.
Condoms are a barrier method of contraception. They stop sperm from reaching an egg by creating a physical barrier between them. Condoms also prevent the transmission of STIs by providing a barrier.
Condoms are a good method of contraception if you remember to keep them with you when you think you are going to have sex. You should also be confident about using them or asking your partner to use them.
Female condoms are not as widely available as male condoms and are more expensive to buy, but they are available free from sexual health clinics.
Can be inserted up to 8 hours before sex.
If this happens, you can use emergency contraception to prevent pregnancy. This is for emergencies only and shouldn’t be used as a regular form of contraception. You should also take an STI test as you may have been exposed to an infection when the condom split.
Depending on the type of pill, you need to take the emergency contraceptive pill up to 72 (three days) hours or up to 120 hours (five days) after unprotected sex.
The non-hormonal coil (IUD) can be used as emergency contraception up to 120 hours (five days) after sex.
If you choose to have oral sex with a man, you should use a male condom because gonorrhoea, chlamydia, oral HPV and herpes can be passed on this way. If you are having oral sex with a women, a female condom will not provide any protection against orally transmitted STIs.
Yes. Menstrual blood is a natural fluid and will not have any impact on the condom’s effectiveness.
If using condoms to prevent pregnancy you should use them during sex on any day of your cycle including during your period when there is still a small risk of pregnancy.
If using condoms to prevent STIs then you should use them during sex on any day of your cycle including during your period.
Take the female condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear the condom – do not open the packet with your teeth.
Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom and insert it into the vagina. (Female condoms can be inserted up to eight hours before sex).
Make sure that the large ring at the open end of the female condom covers the area around the vaginal opening.
Make sure the penis enters into the female condom, not between the condom and the side of the vagina.
Remove the female condom immediately after sex by gently pulling it out – you can twist the large ring to prevent semen leaking out.
Throw the condom away in a bin, not down the toilet.
When you feel ready to have sex again, it is safe for you to use a condom. You may need to use one even if you are returning to another method of contraception, as it can take time for other methods to start working.
Any kind of lubricant can be used with female polyurethane condoms.
No. There are no restrictions on buying condoms, or for getting free and confidential advice about using condoms or other contraception.
Yes. If you think you are at risk of STIs, you should use a condom during sex when pregnant to protect yourself and your baby from contracting an infection.
If the condom splits or comes out of place, you can visit a clinic or pharmacy to receive emergency contraception (EC). To find your nearest EC service, visit sxt.org.uk
You should also take an STI test as you may have been exposed to an infection when the condom split.
If you have not used your regular form of contraception correctly (e.g. missed pills) and you need a backup method until the effectiveness is re-established