The internal or female condom is a sheath made of polyurethane. It is one of only 2 methods that can provide protection against both pregnancy and many STIs.
- Reliable if used correctly: 95% with perfect use
- Non-latex which makes suitable for people with latex sensitivities
- Reduce risks of both pregnancy and STIs. Provides more coverage for skin based STIs such as herpes and HPV
- Can be put in several hours before sex
- Available in drug stores, grocery stores, health clinics without a prescription
- Can be used for either vaginal or anal sex
- Internal condoms are made from a thin polyurethane which makes it
- Relaxed fit makes it more comfortable than a typical condom for some
- Must be used before sex
- Only available in one brand –FC2 or Female Condom 2 in Canada
- May be more technical to use than a typical external or male condom
- May be more expensive than other condoms
- May not be as easily found in stores, agencies, and health clinics as traditional condoms
How effective is the internal or female condom?
95% effective with perfect use – this means following the detailed instructions perfectly. With average use, the effectiveness drops to 79%.
How do condoms work to prevent pregnancy and STIs?
Condoms are a physical barrier that stops the sperm from entering the vagina and meeting up with an egg in the uterus. Condoms also prevent the exchange of all sexual fluids and reduce the amount of skin to skin contact which make them effective in reducing the risk of STIs.
How do I get condoms?
Anyone at any age can buy condoms! You can always find them at drug stores and some grocery stores, You can often get them for free from school counselors, youth workers, youth clinics and sexual health clinics. You can always get free condoms at Island Sexual Health. No one else has to know!
How do I use an Internal (female) Condom correctly?
- Store the condom at room temperature. Avoid direct sunlight.
- check the expiry date and see package for step-by-step pictures on how to use
- Open the package carefully; tear at the notch on the top right of the package underneath the arrow. Do not use scissors or a knife to open.
- The outer ring covers the area around the opening of the vagina. The inner ring is used for insertion and to help hold the condom in place during intercourse.
- While holding the internal condom at the closed end, grasp the flexible inner ring and squeeze it with the thumb and second or middle finger so it becomes long and narrow
- Choose a position that is comfortable for insertion – squat, raise one leg, sit or lie down.
- Gently slide the inner ring into the vagina.
- Place the index finger on the inside of the condom, and push the inner ring up as far as it will go. Be sure the sheath is not twisted. The outer ring should remain on the outside of the vagina.
- The internal condom is now in place and ready for use with your partner.
- When you are ready, guide the penis or sex toy into the condom’s opening with your hand to make sure that it enters properly – be sure that the penis is not entering up the side, between the sheath and the vaginal wall/anal canal wall.
- To remove the condom, twist the outer ring and gently pull the condom out.
- Wrap the condom in the package or in tissue, and throw it in the garbage. Do not put it into the toilet.
Anything else I should know about internal or female condoms?
- use a condom every time you have sex!
- using condoms helps prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- use water or oil based lubricants with internal condoms to avoid breakage and discomfort
- only use each condom once!
- don’t carry condoms anywhere they might get damaged or hot ie: your wallet
- both partners can help put the condom on properly!
- NEVER use two condoms at the same time during sex as the friction can cause both to break
- Internal condoms are not difficult to use, but it may take some practice to get used to it. Users should practice putting it in and removing it prior to using it for the first time during sexual intercourse.
- It is important that the penis is guided into the centre of the condom and not between the vaginal wall/anal canal wall and the outer side of the internal condom.
- Internal condoms are made from polyurethane so are great for people who are allergic or sensitive to latex.