The female condom

Aust Fam Physician. 2000 Jun;29(6):555-7.


Background: The female condom has been available in numerous countries for some years. It was launched in Australia on March 8th, 2000 and is an important addition to the range of barrier contraceptives.

Objective: This article aims to provide an overview of the female condom to enable GPs and nurse practitioners to advise clients and provide information about its use.

Discussion: The female condom is an effective form of contraception. When used correctly it has a failure rate of about 5%, which compares favourably with other forms of barrier contraception. It is important that users are instructed on insertion, in particular the need to guide the penis into the condom. Evidence shows that it reduces the incidence of sexually transmitted infections. There may also be additional benefit in reducing wart virus and herpes transmission, as there is greater protection to the vulva and the base of the penis, when compared with the male condom. The female condom has high user acceptability, and offers advantages in terms of sensitivity and also ease of use by men with erectile dysfunction. It is the only barrier protection under a woman's control, giving protection to the vagina and vulva as well as the cervix.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Condoms, Female* / economics
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*