A planned pregnancy is what almost all couples opt for these days. Given the efficacy of condoms in preventing pregnancy, it is the commonest contraceptive. Condoms are also effective to prevent certain sexually transmitted diseases. Today, the term condom is invariably associated with male condoms, whereas people are not aware that female condoms also exist.
This means that women can now protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy and diseases, without relying on men. So, let us understand the difference between a male condom and a female condom.
– The male condom is made up of latex, polyurethane, polyisoprene, or lambskin. It is to be worn on an erected penis.
– The female condom is made up of polyurethane or nitrile. It is like a lubricated pouch with two ends, one is open while the other is closed. It has two rings at the ends that aid holding the condom in place after insertion. The inner ring is inserted into the vagina just like a tampon.
– A male condom covers most of the penis and protects women’s genitalia.
– A female condom covers both the internal and external genitalia of a female and the base of penis providing a broader protection.
– A male condom made up of latex can cause skin allergy.
– A female condom is hypoallergic.
– Male condoms are used during the act on the erected penis.
– Whereas a female condom can be inserted into the vagina as early as 8 hours before the act.
– A male condom may slip off or spill after losing the erection.
– The female condom stays in place even after sexual intercourse and prevents spilling.
– When used as per instructions on the pack, male condoms are 98% effective and female condoms are 95% effective.
– When instructions on the pack are not followed, the failure rate of male and female condoms is 14% and 21%, respectively.
– With male latex condoms, only water-based lubricants can be used. In case of polyurethane or lambskin, any lubricant can be used.
– Whereas with female condoms either water-based or oil-based lubricant can be used.
– The male condom is easy to use and fits snugly, whereas it might be initially difficult to insert the inner rim of a female condom.
– Male condoms are readily available (in pharmacies)and are relatively cheap.
– A female condom is not very popular so are not readily available and are expensive than male condoms.
– Male condoms come in different sizes, color and flavor.
– Female condom comes in one size and is colorless and odorless.
The efficacy of both the male and female condoms are similar because they aid the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS in addition to its contraceptive property. Furthermore, both are available in a disposable form that is to be discarded after single use. Though male and female condoms have similarities, there are few precautions you should follow while using one:
Precautions and tips while using a condom
1. Don’t use a condom that is brittle, sticky, or discolored.
2. Don’t carry condoms in your wallet for long periods of time or store them in your car.
3. Store condoms in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and heat. Latex condoms can decay if not stored properly.
4. Using the right size of male condom is important to prevent the problem of breaking or slipping off.
5. A female condom makes the sexual act noisy, but using a lubricant prevents this problem.
6. If condom tears or breaks during the act or the outer ring is pushed up inside the vagina in case of a female condom, or the condom bunches up inside the vagina, then you need to remove it and use a fresh one.
7. Use each condom only once.
8. Be careful while wearing the condom as you may accidentally rupture them with your fingernails or jewelry.
9. Lambskin male condoms do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
10. Always use only one type of condom at a time. Do not use a female condom and a male condom at the same time.
11. It is always advisable to throw condoms in the trash after use. Do not flush them.
Both male and female condoms have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, the best part is that it allows both the parties to take responsibility for preventing pregnancy as well as keeping sexually transmitted diseases at bay.