A number of South Africans know about femidoms but they do not how to use them due to the following reasons, the first being access to the condoms as they are not easily accessible as male condoms are, the second being the lack of education on how to use the condom and the third being the affordability of the condoms because not everyone woman is able to afford such condoms.

What a femidom is

A femidom is a female condom or internal condom that is used during sexual intercourse as a barrier contraceptive to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s such as gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV). “They are female condoms and they come in two forms the cupid condom and the Fc2 condom. They are made out of high quality plastic material to ensure protection during sexual intercourse and the good thing about them is that the female takes control in ensuring that the male partner puts his penis correctly in the condom”, says Fhatumani Ligege HIV and AIDS Programme Coordinator from the University of Johannesburg.

What makes them different

Femidom’s are different from your normal male condoms because they are very complicated when they are used. They must be inserted into the vagina 8hours before any sexual intercourse can take place to ensure their effectiveness. And also to ensure that they adjust to the body heat of the female because they are bigger and wider and they come with a sponge, so attention to detail is important when using these condoms.

How to use femidoms

A female who is going to use the condom must check the following:

- check the expiring date of the condom,

- check the quality of the condom before using it and check if they are approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS).

After doing so the female must ensure that they put it on for 8hours before sexual encounters by making sure it goes through the vagina, the sponge must go as far along into the vagina so that it can hold the sperm once the male has ejaculated and this is when a female is using the cupid condom.

When using the Fc2 condom females must make sure that it goes through the end of the vagina and ensure that the outer ring is on the outside so that the penis remains inside the condom throughout.

Are they effective

Fhatuwani says they are very much effective as the female is accountable for their health and takes control by preventing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies and most importantly the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. He states that with more accessibility of the condoms and better education about them many STDs will be prevented as these condoms are very effected and they has not been any recent reports on the ineffectiveness of them.