Are internal (female) condoms worth the buzz?
If you’re like me, it usually takes a while to try a product. This is especially true with birth control. Before I started my birth control journey, using the combination pill, my partner and I used the male condom. However, the male condom would often, if not always, cause small tears and irritation in my vagina. Because of this, we practiced unprotected sex for several months until I decided to seek birth control alternatives.
As a young adult, I would have loved to know more about other types of condoms available to me.
That’s why I want to tell you about the FC2, an internal condom (sometimes called the female condom). The idea of having something inside of me scares the bejeebers out of me. But I decided to give the FC2 a try and I want to share my experience with it: let me tell you, it was nothing like I expected.
When I opened the FC2 internal condom I was very surprised at how lubricated and thin it was. It resembled the male condom but looked safer and more trustworthy because of the way it is designed to fit vaginas.
To insert, I folded the smaller end of it and inserted it inside my vagina, pushing it down as far as it would let me. You know it’s inserted correctly when the outside of it surrounds your entire vulva. I tried it once at home by myself, before trying it with my partner. On my first try, it was a bit slippery and it took me at least 1 minute to get the hang of it, but once I was comfortable with the insertion process, it went down to 30 seconds.
I was also skeptical in the beginning about how the internal ring would feel. Will I feel it push against something? Will it feel different than without a condom? After years of having sex on the pill and without condoms, I have to say that I didn’t feel a difference. I also thought that it would slip or move out of place, but it didn’t. I also found it less irritating, this is most likely because it is latex-free and lubricated inside and out. Since it’s also silicone-based, it is safe to use with oil or water-based lubricants. I keep a bottle of water-based lubricant just in case I need it, but didn’t find the need to add extra lubrication while using the FC2.
Overall, I had great experience and personally prefer the internal condom over the male condom. I found it more reliable and enjoyable because of the lubrication inside and out, the latex-free and irritation-free experience, and the peace of mind of knowing it was designed to fit well.
Whether used as a backup to a birth control method, or not, the FC2 is a great choice to prevent pregnancies or STIs. The only tip I have is to try it at least once or twice on your own. Like any other type of birth control, even the pill, it may take some getting used to. So, if you’re trying it for the first time, practice! You’ll be a pro before you know it.
If you have insurance and are interested in getting the FC2, you can likely add it to your subscription for free as part of the Simple Health Complete Care service (FC2 is typically 100% covered by insurance, so the out-of-pocket cost is usually $0).
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