Looks like a jellyfish, works like birth control.
The female condom is somewhat of a mythical creature in the land of birth control.
You've probably heard about it — maybe you even remember seeing it once — but you're not really sure what it is or even where to find it.
The female condom (FC2) is a non-hormonal barrier method of birth control. But instead of going on a penis, it goes in a vagina, which is why it's also sometimes referred to as an internal condom. For more information, BuzzFeed Health spoke with a few experts who could demystify this lesser-known contraceptive:
- Dr. Harry Fisch, clinical professor of urology and reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and chief corporate officer of Veru Healthcare, which distributes FC2
- Dr. Lauren Streicher, associate clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s medical school, The Feinberg School of Medicine
It's free with a prescription from your doctor.
Up until the past few months, the female condom lived on store shelves, usually right next to the male condoms. But it was difficult to get shelf space and secure the product in every outlet, Fisch tells BuzzFeed Health. Plus, the female condoms came in 3-packs, making them more expensive than a big box of male condoms.
Recently, Veru Healthcare moved FC2 behind the counter, where it's available in packs of 12 with a prescription from your provider. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover at least one form of contraception from each FDA-approved method at no cost. And since FC2 is the only FDA-approved female condom, it will be free with a prescription from your doctor. (There are a few exceptions to this, which you can read more about here.)
But you don't necessarily need a prescription — or insurance — to get it.
According to Fisch, there will soon be a way to order FC2 directly from their website at about $1.60 each if you're uninsured or unable to get a prescription. You can also find them for free at many local health centers, says Fisch.