What is an Internal Condom?

An internal condom (sometimes called a “female” condom) is inserted into the vagina or the rectum, a flexible plastic ring holds it in place at the vaginal or anal opening. They are made of Nitrile (a soft and flexible type of plastic).

How do condoms work?

  • For birth control, they prevent pregnancy by keeping the sperm away from the vagina.
  • For STI protection, they act as a physical barrier method that works to protect against STIs by reducing contact with partner(s) bodily fluid and skin.

How effective are internal condoms?

  • When used as birth control they are approximately 79% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • When used as a birth control method, they are ideally used with another birth control instead of on their own.
  • They are very effective at preventing STIs – they may provide more coverage of the skin which offers greater protection against skin to skin STIs (such as warts and herpes)
  • Available without a prescription
  • One size fits all  
  • Can be put in place up to 6 hours prior to insertive sex
  • Can be expensive and hard to find.
  • May take a few times to get used to inserting and using.

Questions? We’re here for you!

We know it can be confusing to choose a method. We are here to help.

You can visit one of our Options for Sexual Health Clinics to speak with a health care provider.

Our Sex Sense Team is available Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. by phone 1-800-739-7367 or by email at to answer your questions about birth control, or any other questions about sex, sexuality, or sexual health.

This fact sheet contains general information and should not be used in place of individual consultation with a qualified healthcare provider.

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