What is it?
- Very thin, soft tubing made of polyurethane that is inserted into and loosely lines the vagina.
How does it work?
- It acts as a barrier between the penis and vagina so sperm doesn’t enter the vagina and reach the egg.
What’s great about it?
- Quite effective. 5 out of 100 women using them will get pregnant each year. If not used properly more women will become pregnant (21 in 100).
- nyone can buy them in a store – does not need a prescription
- Does not contain hormones so no side effects and periods are not affected.
- Just use it when you have sex. Can be put in any time before sex so as to not interrupt it.
- Protects against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Can use it with any lubricant – not affected by oil based lubricants.
What’s not so great about it?
- It is less effective than most methods but better than using nothing.
- It can fail because: penis enters you between the condom and the vagina, not inside the condom; condom can be pushed too far into the vagina – the open end should always be outside the vagina; it slips out
- Needs to be used every time you have sex.
- Can “interrupt the mood” during sex if not inserted beforehand.
- Can cause vaginal/penile irritation.
- More expensive than a male condom.
- Can make sex noisy, but adding extra lubricant can help.
Where can I get it?
- Sexual Health clinics
- Family planning clinics
- Buy it at pharmacies and supermarkets.