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Female Condom

Female Condom: Getting to Know FC2

    What is FC2 Female Condom?
    What is FC2 Female Condom?

    Female CondomsFC2 Female Condom® is a thin, soft, loose-fitting sheath made from synthetic rubber (non-latex) which is worn inside the vagina. There is a flexible ring at each end. The inner ring at the closed end of the sheath is used to insert the condom inside the vagina and to hold it in place during intercourse. The rolled outer ring at the open end of the sheath remains outside the vagina and covers part of the external genitalia. FC2 Female Condom® is inserted into the vagina before sex. It holds the man’s sperm after ejaculation thus helping prevent unintended pregnancy. It also acts as a barrier to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.


    Is FC2 Latex-Free?
    Yes, FC2 Female Condom is latex-free and made of a synthetic rubber called nitrile.

    What are the advantages of FC2 Female Condom?
    FC2 can be an exciting and sexually satisfying alternative for couples.

    Below is a list of promotional messages.

    • FC2 can increase a woman’s sense of empowerment as she is taking the initiative to protect herself and her partner.
    • FC2 Increases sexual stimulation because the material adjusts to body temperature and stays warm.
    • External ring rubs against clitoris and increases pleasure for many women.
    • Men do not have to have/ maintain an erection to use FC2. FC2 is a good option for men who are unable to maintain an erection with the male condom.
    • Men do not have to withdraw right after ejaculation, which may lead to more intimacy when using FC2.
    • FC2 can be inserted ahead of time so there are no interruptions to “spoil the mood”.
    • Insertion of FC2 can be incorporated into sexual play, the partner can watch as it is put in place OR can help insert it.
    • FC2 is a great choice for people with sensitivities to latex.
    • FC2 can be used with any kind of lubricant (water or oil-based lubricants).
    • FC2 provides an option for those times when a couple does not want to use the male condom (NOTE: Clients should never use a male condom and FC2 at the same time).
    • FC2 is not tight or constricting around the penis; some men prefer FC2 to the male condom.
    • The inner ring of FC2 can stimulate the tip of the penis during intercourse.
    • The man does not have to worry about wearing a condom.
    • FC2 provides effective dual protection, reducing the worry during sex about pregnancy and STIs/HIV.
    • Increased sensation compared to latex male condom because nitrile is very thin.


    Why do we need FC2 Female Condom?
    Women and men can initiate the use of FC2, so it provides them with an additional choice to protect themselves from STIs, HIV and unintended pregnancies. It is not intended as a replacement for the male condom but rather as an additional option for both women and men.

    Are there different kinds of female condoms?
    New prototypes of female condoms are being developed but are still undergoing clinical trials and regulatory approvals. FC2 Female Condom®, manufactured by The Female Health Company (FHC), was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in March 2009. In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) judged FC2 acceptable for procurement by United Nations agencies. FC2 Female Condom® also has other significant registrations including the CE mark in Europe.

    Why does FC2 Female Condom seem so large?
    FC2 Female Condom® is similar in length to a male condom. However, it is wider than a male condom as, once inserted, it lines the walls of the vagina and allows for movement of the penis inside the sheath. It also provides extra protection by covering part of the external female genitalia and the base of the penis.

    Who can use FC2?

    • People who want to protect themselves and their partners from unintended pregnancy and STIs, including HIV/AIDS.
    • People whose partners cannot or will not use the male condom.
    • Women who are menstruating.
    • Women who have recently given birth.
    • Women who have had a hysterectomy.
    • Women who are pre-menopausal or post-menopausal.
    • People who are allergic or sensitive to latex.
    • People who are HIV+ or have HIV+ partners.


    Menstruation
    Yes. FC2 Female Condom® does not interfere with menstruation and can therefore be used. However, FC2 should be inserted just before intercourse and removed soon after.

    Pregnancy
    Yes, you can use FC2 Female Condom® when you are pregnant since the condom doesn’t move beyond the cervix. You can also use FC2 Female Condom® after recently giving birth.

    Hysterectomy
    Yes. FC2 lines the vagina and takes its natural shape.

    Insertion

      Is FC2 easy to use?
      Yes. You can try several positions to insert FC2 and decide which one works best for you. Try inserting FC2 while standing, sitting, squatting or lying down. Some women also involve their partners in insertion and find this is enjoyable for both of them. Most women find FC2 easier to insert with practice. Research has shown that new users who try it three to five times become confident using it. Inconsistent users may take longer to master FC2 use.

      When can I insert FC2 Female Condom?
      FC2 Female Condom® can be inserted in advance of sexual intercourse and does not need to be taken out immediately after intercourse
      Is FC2 easy to use?
      Yes. You can try several positions to insert FC2 and decide which one works best for you. Try inserting FC2 while standing, sitting, squatting or lying down. Some women also involve their partners in insertion and find this is enjoyable for both of them. Most women find FC2 easier to insert with practice. Research has shown that new users who try it three to five times become confident using it. Inconsistent users may take longer to master FC2 use.

      How will I know if FC2 Female Condom is inserted correctly in my vagina?
      FC2 Female Condom® is inserted correctly when the inner ring is pushed past the pubic bone. The outer ring and part of the condom is flat around the opening of the vagina, covering the external genitalia. You can check that the condom is in place by inserting your index or middle finger into the vagina past the pubic bone. You can feel your pubic bone by curving your index or middle finger when it is a couple of inches inside your vagina. You should be able to feel that the inner ring is past the pubic bone on the front wall of the vagina.

      What if the outer ring is pushed inside the vagina?
      STOP. Remove FC2. Insert a new female condom according to the directions.

      What if the penis doesn’t enter correctly?
      It is important that the penis is guided into the center of FC2 and not between the vaginal wall and the outer side of FC2. If the penis does enter incorrectly STOP and start over, with additional lubrication, if necessary

      Will FC2 Female Condom disappear inside my body?
      No. FC2 covers the cervix. The diameter of the opening to the cervix is 1 mm to 3 mm so it is impossible for FC2 Female Condom® to disappear inside your body.

      Safety / Protection

        Is FC2 Female Condom Safe?

        Yes.Testing has shown that the FC2 Female Condom® is a safe and effective method for preventing unintended pregnancy and STIs, including HIV.


        Does FC2 Female Condom provide protection against pregnancy and STIs?
        US FDA has indicated that the FC2 Female Condom is effective in preventing pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). FC2 Female Condom covers the vagina, cervix and part of the external genitalia offering partners a barrier protection against bacteria and viruses that cause STIs, including HIV, as well as unintended pregnancy.

        No barrier method is 100% effective


        Can FC2 Female Condom and a male condom be used together?
        No, as the friction caused by the two condoms can lead to tearing of either one or both the condoms. Also, using one condom (male or female) provides equal protection to both partners.


        Can I use FC2 with other contraceptives?
        Yes. FC2 Female Condom® can be used with the pill, injections, IUD contraceptives, post sterilization and post vasectomy to protect against STIs, including HIV.

        FC2 cannot be used with the diaphragm, cervical cap or NuvaRing® as the inner ring of FC2 fits into the same place by the cervix.


        Can I use the FC2 Female Condom without my partner’s knowledge?
        Since a part of the condom stays outside the vagina, it’s visible and might be difficult to use without your partner’s knowledge. Partners should discuss and agree on FC2 use in advance of sexual intercourse.

        What does the expiration date on the package mean?
        Dates are stamped in the seam of the FC2 package; one will be the manufacturing date, and the other is the expiration date. Do not use FC2 if the expiration date has past.

        Storing and Disposal

          How long can FC2 be kept, and are there any special storage requirements?

          The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved FC2 for a 5 year shelf life from the date of manufacture. Due to the properties of nitrite, FC2 is not affected by differences in temperature and/or humidity, so no special storage conditions are required.


          Can I reuse the FC2 Female Condom?
          No. Reuse of any condom is not recommended – male or female. A new condom should be used every time you have intercourse.


          How do I dispose of FC2?
          FC2 should be disposed in the trash bin; not down the toilet. FC2 does not have to be removed immediately after a man ejaculates, unlike the male condom, but should be removed prior to standing to avoid the contents from spilling out.

            1. Twist the outer ring to seal the condom to prevent the contents from spilling out.
            2. FC2 may be pulled out and wrapped in the package it came in and/or in tissue.
            3. FC2 should be disposed of in waste containers; not in the toilet.

          Women dispose of sanitary napkins in a clean and private way; the same procedures should be used for the disposal of FC2.


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