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What should I know about condoms for women (female condoms)?

A female condom, which fits into the vagina and covers the outer lips of the vulva, can be put in the vagina any time before sex. It should be used only once, because it may break if it is reused. But if you do not have any other condoms, you can clean it and reuse it up to 5 times. The female condom should not be used with a male condom.

Female condoms are larger than condoms made for men and are less likely to break. They work best when the man is on top and the woman is on the bottom during sex.

The female condom is the most effective of the methods controlled by women in protecting against both pregnancy and STIs, including HIV. There are now 3 types of female condom available. The newest are less expensive. The VA female condom fits more closely to the woman’s body, so it is more comfortable and makes less noise during sex.

Female condoms are available only in a few places now. But if enough people demand this method, more programs will make them available.