Internal condoms

The internal condom (sometimes called the 'female condom') is a plastic pouch that fits inside the vagina to stop sexual fluids from passing between partners during sexual activity. They can also be used for anal sex.

How it works: the internal 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 sperm, stopping it from entering the vagina.

Girl holding female condom

How to use the internal condom:

  1. Open the package carefully and make sure that the flexible inner ring is inside the pouch.
  2. From the outside of the pouch, hold the inner ring between your thumb and middle finger.
  3. Put your index finger on the pouch between your thumb and other fingers, and squeeze the inner ring.
  4. With your other hand, spread the folds of skin (labia).
  5. Slide the condom into the 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.
  6. If the internal condom bunches up when the penis/finger/sex toy is inserted, stop, put on more lubricant, and guide the penis/finger/sex toy back in.
  7. 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 internal condom.

If used properly, the internal condom is 95% effective.

Things to consider

  • Some of the outside female genitals (labia) are covered by the internal condom, which reduces the risk of herpes and genital warts.
  • 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 internal condom and the vaginal wall.
  • It can make a 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.
  • Internal condoms cost around $3.50 each.

You can get internal condoms from Sexual Health Quarters (SHQ).
70 Roe Street Northbridge WA
Ph. (08) 9227 6177

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