Everyone knows what a condom is, but hands up if you’ve ever heard of the female condom (also known as the internal condom)? This lesser-known barrier contraceptive gets inserted into the vagina or anus before sex.
Just like the condom you’re probably already familiar with, the female condom protects against accidental pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It was originally invented to give women more control over their sexual health, but of course, it can be used by people of all genders. Want to know if they’re right for you? Read on…
It is made from thin latex or polyurethane and has two rings; one inner ring that fits against the cervix, and one external ring that fits against the outside of the vagina/ anus.
The internal/ female condom is a barrier contraceptive which means it prevents semen and other bodily fluids from passing from one sexual partner to the other.
Because it covers some of the outer vagina lips/ the outside of the anus, it can also help protect against skin-contact viruses like herpes and warts which other contraceptive methods don’t.
Did you know that the female condom can be inserted up to eight hours before having sex?
Watch this video for step-by-step instructions:
If used correctly, it is up to 95% effective, but it’s important to follow instructions carefully.
Pros and cons of the internal or female condom
Although it was invented for vaginal sex, it can also be used for anal sex. If you’re using one for anal, check out these instructions.
Being less common than the external/ male condom, you might find it a little tricky to find the internal/ female condom. But they are out there! Try your local family planning clinic, sex shop, or pharmacy.