Internal condoms (AKA female condoms) are thin, stretchy pouches that you or your sexual partner wear on your vagina or anus to prevent pregnancy and STIs by creating a physical barrier that keeps sperm and other fluids from getting into the other person’s body. Internal condoms are not reusable and are very affordable.
Yes! Internal condoms reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by making a barrier between body parts. This means that body fluids (like semen, and vaginal fluids) can’t be exchanged. Internal condoms also limit skin-to-skin contact that can spread STIs.
Lambskin condoms don’t prevent STIs, they help protect against pregnancy.
Each sex act requires a new condom (either a regular condom or an internal condom). For example, if someone has penis-in-vagina sex and then anal sex, they should use two different condoms. Condoms and internal condoms are also recommended when using sex toys.
The internal condom can be inserted a couple of hours before sexual activity starts.
Never use more than 1 internal condom on the same vagina or anus at a time. Using 2 condoms offers less protection because the friction between them increases the chance of breaking it.
Before you put on an internal condom
Read the label to confirm it is appropriate to protect against pregnancy, STIs, and HIV.
Check that the package is not damaged by lightly squeezing it between your fingers. It should feel like there is air inside. If it’s damaged pick another one.
Check the expiration date on the package. If it’s expired pick another one.
Carefully open it with your hands – not with your teeth since this may damage it.
How to put on an internal condom
If you’re putting the condom in your anus, remove the inner ring. If you’re putting the condom in your vagina, leave the ring in.
Relax and get into a comfortable position. Standing with one foot on a chair, lying down, or squatting are common faves.
If it’s going in your vagina, squeeze together the sides of the inner ring at the closed end of the condom and slide it in like a tampon. Push the inner ring into your vagina as far as it can go, up to your cervix.
If it’s going in your anus, just push the condom in with your finger.
Make sure the condom isn't twisted. Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside the vagina or anus. You’re good to go!
Hold the condom open as the penis or sex toy is going into the condom to make sure it doesn’t slip to the side between the condom and your vagina or anus.
To remove it
If there’s semen (cum) in the condom, twist the outer ring (the part that’s hanging out) to keep the semen inside the pouch.
Gently pull it out of your vagina or anus to not spill the semen if there is any.
Throw it away in the trash.
Yes! Everybody can use an internal condom and is a great way to prevent STIs and pregnancies. Just make sure you are using it correctly.
Talking with a health provider is a great place to start. It can also be helpful to talk with friends or trusted adults in your life. Everyone is different, what works best for one person might not be what works best for you.
Using it can make sex feel more comfortable. It can be put on the outside of a condom and a couple of drops can be put inside before putting it on.
Only use water or silicone-based lube with condoms. Oil-based lube, like coconut oil or lotion, can make it easier for a condom to break.
Keep them handy! On your nightstand or purse.
Practicing how to put condoms before being in the moment helps too!
Take care of them:
Condoms are super stretchy and strong but if they are kept somewhere really hot or cold it can make it easier for them to break.
If condoms are poked or rubbed, like the bottom of a bag, they can break.
Talk about them:
It can sometimes feel uncomfortable raising the subject of condoms with a sexual partner. Think about why it is important to you to use condoms ahead of time so you can clearly and firmly explain to a partner why you want to use them.
There are so many types of external condoms! Trying different types can help you find the ones that feel best.