How reliable is it?
There have been no large-scale studies to show this, but research suggests it should be as effective as the male condom.
How it works
A soft polyurethane sheath lines the vagina and the area just outside, and prevents sperm from entering the vagina.
Can be put in any time before sex.
May protect both partners from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
May protect against cancer of the cervix.
Oil based products can be used with female condoms.
Putting it in can interrupt sex.
Need to make sure the man's penis enters the condom and not between the vagina and the condom.
Expensive to buy.
Use a new condom each time and follow the instructions carefully.
Quality mark for female condom not yet available.
Available at some family planning clinics.