Female condoms (AKA internal condoms) are great at preventing pregnancy and STDs. If you follow the instructions and use them every time you have vaginal or anal sex, there’s very little chance of pregnancy, or getting or giving an STD.
How effective are female condoms at preventing pregnancy?
If you use them perfectly every single time you have sex, female condom effectiveness is 95%. But people aren’t perfect, so in real life they’re about 79% effective — that means about 21 out of 100 people who use female condoms as their main method of birth control will get pregnant each year.
How can I make female condoms more effective?
The best way to make female condoms work as well as possible is to use them correctly every single time you have vaginal or anal sex. That means wearing it the whole time, from start to finish. Make sure the condom is in place in your vagina or anus the right way before there’s any skin-to-skin genital contact. Read more about how to use female condoms correctly.
You can make female condoms better at preventing pregnancy by using them along with another birth control method (like the pill or an IUD). That way you’ve got some protection from STDs, and double protection from pregnancy.
One thing you should definitely NOT do is use a regular condom together with a female condom. Each kind of condom is designed to be used on its own, and doubling up won’t give you extra protection. One condom used correctly is the best way to go — whichever kind of condom you use.
Keep in mind that drugs and alcohol can make people forget to use condoms (or less able to use them correctly).