What is the internal condom?
- The internal, or female condom (e.g., FC2, RealityTM) is a condom made for internal use.
- It is made from a soft, loose-fitting polyurethane plastic, shaped like a pouch, and has a soft ring at each end.
- The ring at the closed end is used to put the device inside the vagina and holds it in place. The other ring stays outside the vagina and partly covers the outer lips or labia.
How does the internal condom work?
It prevents sperm from meeting the egg and acts as a barrier for protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
How effective is it?
The internal (female) condom is 79% (typical use) to 95% (perfect use) effective at preventing pregnancy.
- One size fits all—relies on lining the vagina not on fitting snugly to the penis
- Effective barrier to sexually transmitted infections including HIV infection
- A woman can choose to use this condom herself
- Available without prescription at all Opt clinics, some drug stores, and sex stores
- Alternative for women or their partners who have latex allergies
- Expensive—costs about 3 times more than an external (male) condom (but can be picked up at Opt Clinics for no cost!)
- May have some trouble inserting it correctly
- May make a "rustling" noise during intercourse
- Important to remove carefully to avoid the risk of semen spilling at vaginal entrance when condom removed
How do you use the internal condom?
- Insert the internal condom before sexual intercourse.
It can be inserted up to 6 hours before intercourse; however, most people insert it between 2 to 20 minutes before intercourse.
- Squeeze the loose inner ring together to insert the closed end of the condom high in the vagina. The inner ring holds the condom in place.
- The outside ring of the condom then lies against the outer lips of the vagina. Hold the outside ring when the penis is first inserted to ensure the penis goes inside the condom (not along the side) and to prevent the entire condom from being pushed in the vagina.
- If you have trouble with noise from the condom during intercourse, try changing position, and/or adding lubricant inside the condom.
How do you remove the internal condom?
- To remove, squeeze and twist the outer ring to keep the semen inside the pouch then pull out gently.
- This should be done after intercourse and before standing up.
- Throw the condom away in the garbage.
EACH CONDOM SHOULD ONLY BE USED ONCE.
Revised March 2009