The female condom (Reality Vaginal Pouch) is made of thin polyurethane material with 2 flexible rings at each end. One ring fits into the depth of the vagina, and the other ring sits outside the vagina near the introitus. Female condoms have the advantage of being under the control of the female partner and of offering some protection against STDs. Significant disadvantages may be their cost and overall bulkiness. Comparisons of the female condom with other female barrier methods such as the diaphragm and cervical cap indicate that failure rates are comparable. The 6-month probability of failure during perfect use of the condom is 2.6%, which is much lower than the initial prediction of 15%. Perfect use of the female condom may also reduce the annual risk of acquiring HIV by more than 90 percent.
- Methods of contraception
Revision date: July 6, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD