Internal Condom (Female Condom)

What is a Female Condom? Internal condoms are vaginal contraceptive methods that are internal method types to prevent pregnancy. Read about their benefits.
Internal Condom (Female Condom)


An internal condom –or female condom-  is a pouch you insert into your vagina or anus. Internal condoms (female) work the same way that external condoms (male) do, except that you wear one on the inside instead of sticking it on a penis. They keep the sperm inside the condom and out of your vagina or anus.

Quick Facts

  • Give women more control
  • Good option for couples with latex allergies
  • Effectiveness: better when used perfectly; more effective with spermicide. When used properly, 95 of every 100 individuals will manage to prevent pregnancy. But most people do not use condoms perfectly –if that is the case, only 79 of every 100 individuals using this method will manage to avoid pregnancy.
  • Side effects: usually none, but could cause a little irritation to you or your guy
  • Effort: high. You have to use one EVERY time you have sex


STI protection. Internal condoms (female) help protect you from most sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.

Internal condoms (female) take a lot of effort and commitment. You have to make sure to use condoms correctly, every time, for them to be effective.

Your partner refuses to wear a condom. If your partner will not wear a condom, but you still want protection against STIs, the internal condom (female) is a good option.

No prescription is necessary. If you cannot make it to the health care provider (or do not want to), you can always use an internal condom (female). They can be a lot harder to find than other condoms.

Good for people with latex allergies. Unlike most male condoms, internal condoms (female) are made of plastic or synthetic rubber. You can use them even if you are allergic to latex.


How To Use

Internal condoms (female) are easy to use, but take a bit of practice. Remember, if this is your preferred method,  you have to use one EVERY SINGLE TIME.

How to insert an Internal Condom (female)[8]

  1. First, do not be shy.  Putting an internal condom(female) can be part of increasing sexual arousal and desire before penetration.  If you feel comfortable to talk with your partner about sexuality, discuss how you can use the condom to increase pleasure in your sexual experience.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and water. Let them air dry without touching anything.
  3. Put some spermicide or lubricant on the outside of the closed end of the condom.
  4. Sitting or standing, spread your legs.
  5. Squeeze the sides of the closed-end ring together and insert it like a tampon.
  6. Push the ring as far into your vagina as it will go. Push it all the way to your cervix.
  7. Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside your vagina. (It will look a little funny.)
  8. If you want to use an internal condom (female) for anal sex, follow the same process but with your anus.

Do not worry if the condom moves side to side while you are having sex. If the man slips out of the condom and into your vagina or anus, gently remove the condom and reinsert. If he ejaculates outside of the internal condom (female) and into your vagina by accident, you may want to consider Emergency Contraception to avoid the risk of pregnancy.

How to remove an internal condom (female)[7]

  1. Squeeze the outer ring and twist it closed so semen does not spill out.
  2. Pull the condom out gently
  3. Throw it away out of reach of children. Do not flush it down the toilet – it is bad for your plumbing.

Using a regular condom along with an internal condom (female) does not double your protection. It just makes both more likely to rip.[4]

Tips and Tricks: Before using an internal condom (female), you should always check the expiration date and check the package for tears or holes.


Side Effects

Everyone is different. What you experience may not be the same thing as another person.

The Positive:[8]

  • Helps protect you from STIs
  • The outer ring may stimulate your clitoris
  • No prescription necessary
  • Can be used if you are allergic to latex
  • Can be used with both oil-based and water-based lube
  • Stays in place even if the man loses his erection


The Negative: [8]

  • Can cause irritation
  • Some people may be sensitive to certain brands of lubricant (if so, try another brand)
  • Can reduce sensitivity while you are having sex
  • Some internal condoms (female) can be kind of squeaky sounding (but the newer versions shouldn’t be)
  • Hard to remember to use if you have been drinking alcohol


[1] Beksinska, et al. (2015). A randomized noninferiority crossover controlled trial of the functional performance and safety of new female condoms: an evaluation of the Velvet, Cupid2, and FC2. Contraception, Volume 92, Issue 3,. Retrieved from

[2] Dr Marie Marie Stopes International. (2017). Contraception. Retrieved from

[3] FPA the sexual health charity. (2015). Your guide to male and female condoms. Retrieved from


[5] Mome, et al. (2018). Effectiveness of female condom in preventing HIV and sexually transmitted infections: a systematic review protocol. BMJ Open. Retrieved from

[6] Reproductive Health Access Project. (2015). FEMALE/INTERNAL CONDOM. Retrieved from

[7] Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. (2015). Canadian Contraception Consensus Chapter 5: Barrier Methods. JOGC Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada , 37. Retrieved from

[8] Shoupe, D. (2016). Barrier Contraceptives: Male Condoms, Vaginal Spermicides, and Cervical Barrier Methods. En D. Shoupe, The Handbook of Contraception: A Guide for Practical Management. Retrieved from

[9] Ting RS, et al. (2018). A pilot study on the functional performance and acceptability of an innovative female condom (Wondaleaf®) in Malaysia. Open Access J Contracept., 9. Retrieved from

[10] World Health Organization Department of Reproductive Health and Research and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs (2018) Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers. Baltimore and Geneva. Retrieved from

[11] World Health Organization. (2016). Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use. Geneva. Retrieved from