Artwork adapted from Wisconsin Pharmacal.
In recent years, a female condom was developed in response
to the need for more female-controlled methods. Like the male
condom, it forms a physical barrier between the vagina and the
penis. It serves as a receptacle for semen within the vagina.
It prevents sperm from entering a womans reproductive
tract and, theoretically, protects both partners against transmission
The female condom is a soft, loose-fitting plastic sheath with
a flexible ring at each end. One ring is at the closed end of
the sheath and serves as an insertion mechanism and anchor over
the cervix. The outer ring forms the external edge of the device
and remains outside the vagina after insertion, providing protection
to the labia and the base of the penis during intercourse. This
design may reduce the potential for transfer of infectious organisms
between sex partners, particularly from genital ulcers.
The female condom has been approved for use by several regulatory
agencies and is being marketed in Europe as Femidom and in North
America as both Femidom and Reality.