polyisoprene

Some friendly maybe nsfw reminders your parents never told you

1) Always pee right after sex to prevent urinary tract infections!! (which are very ouch)

2) Do not use soap to clean a vagina!! They are self-cleaning and just need water. Soap can lead to yeast infections!! (No me gusta)

3) Some people (like me) are allergic to latex. Don’t let this keep you from using a condom tho! There are also lamb skin (which are really expensive and smell bad and only prevent pregnancy not STIs) and polyisoprene (like SKYN, not too expensive) options available! Safe sex is important!!

4) If you use sex toys, make sure to keep them clean after each use! Because clean is good!

5) MOST IMPORTANTLY!! Before any sort of sexual activity make sure all parties involved give enthusiastic consent!! Trying new things can be fun but make sure everyone is okay with whatever you’re doing!! NO CONSENT NO SEX!!!

What’s Up With The Female Condom?

Uh, FEMALE condom? That’s a pretty cis-centric name, yo.

I know, right? We agree: the name isn’t super inclusive, or even accurate. While the female condom is designed to be worn in the vagina, not all folks with vaginas identify as female. Also, female condoms can actually be used inside the anus as well (if the inner ring is removed), so they’re useful for all bodies.

Thus, some people choose to call them “internal condoms,” “receptive condoms,” or “innies” (female condom) and “outies” (male condoms). However, others dislike those names too. We at Planned Parenthood use the brand name “FC2 Female Condom” (female condom for short) because that’s the only kind that’s FDA approved to prevent pregnancy and STDs. But if you have suggestions for alternative names that are gender non-specific, let us know!

What’s the difference between the traditional “male” condom and the FC2 Female Condom?

Just by looking at them, there are some obvious differences in shape and design. Traditional condoms fit snuggly and completely over the penis, while female condoms are roomier and use an “inner ring” at the closed end to hold themselves in place against the vaginal walls. The FC2 Female Condom is made of nitrile, a type of synthetic rubber, while the majority of traditional condoms are made of latex (or sometimes polyurethane or polyisoprene).

What are the benefits of female condoms?

Condoms, including female condoms, are the only method of birth control that can prevent both sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy. The FC2 Female Condom is latex-free, so it’s great for folks with latex allergies, and can be used with any type of lubricant (even oil, unlike latex condoms).

The outer rim can offer additional clitoral or labia stimulation, while the inner ring may give penises the feel-goods too. And female condoms can be inserted before foreplay and don’t need to be removed right after ejaculation, keeping your sex party all action, no interruptions.

The female condom is worn inside a vagina (or anus) instead of fitting onto a penis, so it’s a great option for those very, very few whose penis size makes using traditional condoms uncomfortable or difficult. Along similar lines, female condoms are useful for people with erectile issues (trouble getting and/or keeping ol’ Professor Peen standing at attention). While a penis must be hard the whole time it’s wearing a traditional condom so the condom doesn’t slip or fall off, female condoms give boners the freedom to come and go without affecting your level of protection. And because there’s more room, penises of all shapes, sizes, and stiffness-levels may find female condoms more pleasurable.

Finally, there’s that whole “taking charge of your sexual health vagina empowerment” dealio – lots of people feel like taking the initiative to protect themselves and their partners by using female condoms gives them a sense of control and self-esteem.

What are the drawbacks?

Availability and price are major ones: they cost around $2-3 each, and female condoms are harder to track down than traditional condoms (although that’s changing). Online retailers and select drug stores now carry female condoms, and some Planned Parenthood health centers have them. Female condoms are slightly less effective at preventing pregnancy than traditional condoms, but as long as you’re using them correctly (just like all birth control methods), they’re very effective. People who use a diaphragm or cervical cap for additional pregnancy protection can’t use a female condom, because the female condom’s inner ring needs to fit in the same place. Folks who are on the vaginal ring (NuvaRing) should remove it before using a female condom, but don’t leave your NuvaRing out for longer than three hours. 

How do I use it?

You or your partner can insert a female condom, which is a fun way to make condom use a sexy part of foreplay. Grab the female condom, squeeze the inner-ring at the closed end of the condom, and insert it into your vagina (similar to the way you’d put in a tampon). Put your finger inside the condom and make sure the inner ring is pushed all the way up to your cervix, while the outer ring should hang about an inch out of the vagina. 

You/your partner should guide the penis into the condom to make sure the penis doesn’t miss the condom or push it inside the vagina — if this happens, you can remove and reinsert the condom as long as your partner hasn’t ejaculated yet. Feel free to add additional lubrication inside and outside the condom. After ejaculation, twist the outer ring of the condom and gently pull it out of the vagina.

Plannedparenthood.org and the FC2 Female Condom website have more detailed instructions for using female condoms, including this video.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood

*triumphantly remembers that MGG switched to nitrile gloves after the first season which means he probably has a mild latex allergy and therefore his character can be considered to have one as well* *gives his character a polyisoprene condom and pats him on the head*

I heard condoms DON’T protect against STDs. Is that true?

Someone asked us:

Hello Planned Parenthood! I am so happy you guys have a tumblr! This made my day! Quick question! I’ve been told that condoms only prevent pregnancy, not STD’s or STI’s. This is a bit confusing to me because I thought condoms protected against that stuff too! Could could explain this to me? I would really appreciate it! I hope you guys are around forever! <3

Yo that is one dirty, untruthy rumor! As a matter of fact, latex and plastic condoms are the ONLY form of birth control that can also prevents STDs

While using condoms is the absolute best way to prevent STDs if you’re going to be sexually active, it’s not a 100% guarantee. That’s why we call using condoms “safer sex” instead of “safe sex.” Infections like herpes and HPV, which are spread by skin-to-skin contact, may live on areas condoms don’t provide a barrier against (your scrotum, thighs, or buttocks, for example). So it’s possible whoever gave you the bad info simply misunderstood this little condom side note. 

They also may have been talking about lambskin/animal skin condoms, which only provide pregnancy protection and DO NOT protect against STDs. Condoms that protect against both STDs and pregnancy are made from latex, or types of latex-free soft plastics like polyurethane, polyisoprene, and nitrile. However, lambskin and other animal membrane condoms aren’t very popular anymore. The vast majority of condoms out there today are made out of latex or plastic.

So don’t believe the “condoms don’t protect against STDs” hype — it ain’t true when it comes to latex and plastic condoms. If you’re having sex, condoms offer good protection against pregnancy, and great protection against STDs. So use ‘em! 

Also, thanks for the love. You made my day!

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood