Internal Condom

Quick Facts

Least effective

Protects against STDs

Hormone-free

Must be used correctly every time you have sex

Can be used if you have a latex allergy

A female condom, which has two clear rings connected by clear plastic

More About Internal Condoms

The internal condom, also called a female condom, is a soft plastic pouch you place inside the vagina. It’s made of plastic, so people who are allergic to latex can use it.  It prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from meeting the egg.  Because it lines the vagina, it protects from contact with body fluids (like semen and vaginal fluid) and skin to skin contact that can spread STDs. That’s double protection!

  • Must be used correctly each time you have sex
  • You can use it with other methods for extra protection – just NOT with other condoms!
  • You can use it for both vaginal and anal sex

How to Use the Internal Condom

Be sure to check the expiration date and check the package for tears before you use it.

How to put in an internal condom:

  • Get in a comfortable position, as if you were putting in a tampon
  • For greater effectiveness, add spermicide on the outside of the closed end.  You can add lube for more comfort.
  • Squeeze together the sides of the ring on the closed end of the internal condom and put it into your vagina
  • Push the inner ring into your vagina as far as it’ll go
  • Pull out your finger.  Let the outer ring hang about an inch outside your vagina.
  • Make sure the penis doesn’t slip to the side between the condom and your vagina
  • If you want to use the internal condom for anal sex, remove the inner ring and follow the same process, but with the anus

How to take out an internal condom:

  • Squeeze the outer ring and twist it closed like a baggie so that semen can’t get out
  • Gently pull out the condom
  • Throw it away in a trash can.  Don’t flush it!  Condoms can clog your toilet.
  • You can’t reuse condoms. You will need to use a new one every time you have sex.
A hand squeezing the upper ring of a female condom
Orange donut chart showing 79%. The title says "79% effective with typical use"
Yellow donut chart showing 95%. The title says "95% effective with perfect use"

Effectiveness

  • 79% effective with typical use. This means that on average, 21 out of 100 women using this method will get pregnant in a year. You can improve effectiveness by:
  • 95% effective with perfect use. This means that if the internal condom is used correctly all the time, 5 out of 100 women will get pregnant in a year.

Benefits

  • Protects you from STDs
  • Hormone free
  • You can put in ahead of time – does not disrupt the heat of the moment
  • Can be used with other methods – but NOT with other condoms
  • Many women feel in control when using one
  • Stays in place, even if your partner loses their erection
  • Can also be used for anal sex
  • Easy to get. No prescription required
Nine hands each holding a thumbs up
A young woman holds up her hands as if weighing options and looks thoughtful

Side Effects and Limitations

  • Can irritate the vagina
  • You must use a new condom every time you have sex
  • Can interrupt the heat of the moment if you don’t put it in ahead of time
  • Not as easy to find in stores as other condoms

Family PACT Coverage

If you are eligible, Family PACT covers the cost of the internal condom.  A provider can talk to you about how best to use the internal condom, and help you decide if this is the best choice for you. You can search for a Family PACT provider near you by clicking on the “Provider Search” button in the right hand corner of this page.

California Department of Health Care Services Family PACT logo