Contraceptive efficacy and acceptability of the female condom

Am J Public Health. 1994 Dec;84(12):1960-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.84.12.1960.


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to determine the contraceptive efficacy of the female condom and to provide data about the device to the US Food and Drug Administration.

Methods: The clinical trial was conducted at six US sites and three sites in Latin America. Eligible subjects were in mutually monogamous relationships and agreed to use the female condom as their only means of contraception for 6 months.

Results: A total of 328 subjects contributed to the analysis of contraceptive efficacy. Twenty-two US subjects and 17 Latin American subjects became pregnant, yielding 6-month gross cumulative accidental pregnancy rates of 12.4 and 22.2, respectively. During perfect (consistent and correct) use of the method, the 6-month accidental pregnancy rates were 2.6 and 9.5 for the US and Latin American centers, respectively. There were no serious adverse events related to the use of the method.

Conclusions: The female condom provides contraceptive efficacy in the same range as other barrier methods, particularly when used consistently and correctly, and has the added advantage of helping protect against sexually transmitted diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms* / adverse effects
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Contraceptive Devices, Female* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy