The female/internal condom is a plastic pouch that fits inside a woman's vagina to stop sexual fluids from passing between partners during sexual activity. They can also be used for anal sex.
(How it works: the female condom has a soft ring on each end. The outer ring stays on the outside of the vagina and partly covers the vulva (outside genitals). The inner ring fits on the inside of the vagina near the cervix (entrance to the womb) to hold the condom in place. It collects the guy's sperm, stopping them from entering the vagina.
How to use it:
- Open the package carefully and make sure that the flexible inner ring is inside the pouch.
- From the outside of the pouch, hold the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger.
- Put your index finger on the pouch between your thumb and other fingers, and squeeze the inner ring.
- With your other hand, spread the folds of skin (labia).
- Slide the condom into your vagina as far as it will go, pushing up the front of the inner ring so it slips into place. When it's in the right place you can't feel it. Make sure it is in the correct place and is not twisted. The outer ring should be outside the vagina.
- If the female condom bunches up when the penis is inserted, stop, put on more lubricant, and guide the penis back in.
- After sex, squeeze the outer ring, twist it, and pull the condom out gently. Wrap it in toilet paper, and throw it in the rubbish bin, not down the toilet. Don't re-use the female condom.
If used properly, the female/internal condom is 95% effective.
- Some of the outside female genitals (labia) are covered by the female condom, which reduces the risk of herpes and genital warts.
- The female has control over contraception.
- They are small and easy to carry.
- They fit everyone and can be used during a period.
- The penis can slip into the vagina between the female condom and the vaginal wall.
- It can make a slight rustling noise during sex (try using water-based lubricant).
- Be careful when removing the penis from the vagina, otherwise the condom might come off or tear.
Female condoms cost $3.50 and you can get them from FPWA Sexual Health Services.
Other types of contraception