Internal Condom

An internal (a.k.a. female) condom is a pouch you insert into your vagina or anus. It is not the prettiest thing, but it gives you a lot of control. Internal condoms work the same way that condoms do, except that you wear one on the inside instead of sticking it on a penis. They keep the sperm inside the condom and out of your vagina or anus.

Quick facts:

  • Give women more control.
  • Good option for couples with latex allergies.
  • Effectiveness: better when used perfectly; more effective with spermicide.
    • Perfect use:

      95%

    • Typical use:

      79%

  • Side effects: usually none, but could cause a little irritation to you or your guy.
  • Effort: high. You have to use one EVERY time you have sex.

Internal Condom

Quick facts:

An internal (a.k.a. female) condom is a pouch you insert into your vagina or anus. It is not the prettiest thing, but it gives you a lot of control. Internal condoms work the same way that condoms do, except that you wear one on the inside instead of sticking it on a penis. They keep the sperm inside the condom and out of your vagina or anus.

  • Give women more control.
  • Good option for couples with latex allergies.
  • Effectiveness: better when used perfectly; more effective with spermicide.
    • Perfect use:

      95%

    • Typical use:

      79%

  • Side effects: usually none, but could cause a little irritation to you or your guy.
  • Effort: high. You have to use one EVERY time you have sex.

STI protection. Internal condoms help protect you from most sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Internal condoms take a lot of effort and commitment. You have to make sure to use condoms correctly, every time, in order for them to be effective.

Your partner refuses to wear a condom. If your partner will not wear a condom, but you still want protection against STIs, the internal condom is a good option.

No prescription necessary. If you cannot make it to the doctor (or do not want to), you can always use an internal condom. They can be a lot harder to find than other condoms.

Good for people with latex allergies. Unlike most condoms, internal condoms are made of plastic or synthetic rubber. You can use them even if you are allergic to latex.

Internal condoms are easy to use, but take a bit of practice. Remember, if you are relying on internal condoms, you have to use one EVERY SINGLE TIME.

How to insert an Internal Condom:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water. Let them air dry without touching anything.
  2. Put some spermicide or lubricant on the outside of the closed end of the condom.
  3. Sitting or standing, spread your legs.
  4. Squeeze the sides of the closed-end ring together and insert it like a tampon.
  5. Push the ring as far into your vagina as it will go. Push it all the way to your cervix.
  6. Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside your vagina. (It will look a little funny.)
  7. If you want to use an internal condom for anal sex, follow the same process. But with your anus.

Do not worry if the condom moves side to side while you are having sex. If your man slips out of the condom and into your vagina or anus, gently remove the condom and reinsert. If he ejaculates outside of the internal condom and into your vagina by accident, you may want to consider Emergency Contraception.

How to remove an internal condom

  1. Squeeze the outer ring and twist it closed so semen does not spill out.
  2. Pull the condom out gently
  3. Throw it away out of reach of children. Do not flush it down the toilet – it is bad for your plumbing.

Using a regular condom along with an internal condom does not double your protection. It just makes both more likely to rip.

Tips and Tricks: Before using a female condom, you should always check the expiration date and check the package for tears or holes.

Everyone is different. What you experience may not be the same thing as another woman.

The Positive:

  • Helps protect you from STIs
  • The outer ring may stimulate your clitoris
  • No prescription necessary
  • Can be used if you are allergic to latex
  • Can be used with both oil-based and water-based lube
  • Stays in place even if the man loses his erection

The Negative:

  • Can cause irritation
  • Some people may be sensitive to certain brands of lubricant (if so, try another brand)
  • Can reduce sensitivity while you are having sex
  • The first generation internal condom (FC1) can be kind of squeaky sounding (but the newer version, FC2, shouldn’t be)
  • Hard to remember to use if you have been drinking alcohol

We are here to help you. If it still does not feel right, we have ideas for other methods. Just remember: If you change methods, make sure you use another method while you switch.

What if it is too difficult to insert?

  • Inserting an internal condom should get easier the more you do it. Try practicing putting it in when you are not about to have sex so that you get used to it.
  • Still not working? If it does not get any easier to insert and you are concerned about STIs, go with male condoms instead.
    • If STI protection is not a concern for you right now, you might want to move toward contraception that does not require you to insert anything. The IUD and the implant are both inserted in a clinic.
  • Try a different method: implant; IUD

What if it gets stuck on my partner’s penis?

  • Try using a bit of lube and see if he still gets stuck.
  • Still not working? If he is willing, switch to using male condoms. They will also protect you from STIs.
    • If you are not concerned about STI protection then consider switching to a different method. The ring, the patch, or the shot might be good choices for you.
  • Try a different method: condoms; patch; ring; shot

Why does the internal condom make a squeaky noise?

  • Try using a bit of lube and see if it gets any quieter. The newer version of the internal condom (FC2) should be less squeaky, so try using that.
  • Still not working? If he is willing, switch to using male condoms. They will protect you from STIs as well.
    • If STIs are not something you are concerned about right now, then consider switching to a differentmethod. An IUD, the ring, the patch, or the shot might be good choices for you.
  • Try a different method: condom; IUD; patch; ring; shot

What if my partner says he can feel the inside ring?

  • If your partner can feel the inner ring, you may not have it pushed far enough into your vagina or anus. Try pushing it in a little farther.
  • Still not working? If he is willing, switch to using male condoms. They will protect you from STIs as well.
    • If you are not worried about STIs with this partner, you might want to move toward a non-barrier method. The shot and the implant are both really effective.
  • Try a different method: condom; implant; shot

Will using two condoms be better protection from pregnancy and STIs?

  • Two condoms is definitely NOT better than one. Two condoms can create more friction, which increases the chances the condom(s) will break.
  • If you want to be super safe, use a condom and an effective method of birth control.
  • Try a different method: implant

Why does the female condom stick out when I stand up?

  • You can insert the internal condom up to eight hours before having sex.
  • If you stand up with it in, the internal condom may hang slightly out of the vagina or anus. If you want to insert it early but avoid the tail, try wearing a snug pair of underwear to hold the external part of the condom closer to your body.