[Question #5969] Vaginal Condoms and STD’s

19 months ago
Is a vaginal condom as effective as a “normal” male condom at protecting both parties from STDs, including genital Herpes?

Would you consider them to be safe?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
19 months ago
Welcome back to the forum. Thanks for your continuing confidence in our service.

The female condom spreads out over the female partner's genital area and probably is more effective than male condoms in protecting against skin-skin contact, which is why male condoms are less effective against skin-skin infections (HPV, herpes, syphilis) than those transmitted through genital fluids (chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, etc). So theoretically the female condom may protect more effectively against skin-skin infections. However, I am unaware of any research on this -- i.e. no available data on actual effectiveness in STD/HIV prevention. My belief is that the theory holds true, i.e. reduced transmission risk for herpes.

Not sure what you mean by your question about safety. Obviously using female condoms isn't harmful in any way -- I suspect you mean effectiveness, i.e. whether they might be safer in terms of STD risk than male condoms, right? Clarify if necessary.

I hope these comments are helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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19 months ago
Thank you very much!  And yes, my question about safety was referring to safety in regards to STD transmission. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
19 months ago
Thanks for the thanks. I'm glad to have helped.---