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What is an internal condom? How do internal condoms prevent pregnancy and STDs? Learn all about internal condoms — also called "female" condoms.

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What is an internal condom?

Internal condoms — also called “female” condoms — are an alternative to regular condoms. They provide pretty much the same great protection from pregnancy and STDs. What’s different about them? Instead of going on the penis, internal condoms go inside your vagina for pregnancy prevention or into the vagina or anus for protection from STDs. For a long time they were called “female condoms.” However, people of any gender can use them for vaginal or anal sex.

How do internal condoms work?

Internal condoms — also called “female” condoms — are little nitrile (soft plastic) pouches that you put inside your vagina. They cover the inside of your vagina, creating a barrier that stops sperm from reaching an egg. If sperm can’t get to an egg, you can’t get pregnant. The internal condom also helps prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Do internal condoms protect against STDs?

Yes! Internal condoms aren’t just birth control — they also reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections.

Internal condoms help prevent STDs by covering the inside of your anus, vagina, and some parts of your vulva. This decreases your chance of coming in contact with semen (cum), pre-cum, or skin that can spread STDs.

More questions from patients:

What are the types of female condoms?

The only FDA approved brand of internal condom available in the U.S. is the FC2® Internal Condom . The term “female condom” is no longer used because people of all genders can use internal condoms: You can put an internal condom inside the vagina to help prevent pregnancy and STDs, or inside the anus to help prevent STDs.

What are female condoms made of?

Internal condoms are made of a nitrile (soft plastic) non-latex cover and outer ring, and a polyurethane inner ring. There’s also a silicone-based lubricant on both the inside and outside of the internal condom.

Do female condoms come in different sizes?

No. The internal condom comes in one size. Internal condoms are similar in length to condoms that are meant for penises, but internal condoms are much wider. Once inserted, an internal condom lines the walls of the vagina or anus and allows for insertion and movement of a penis, sex toy, or fingers.

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Internal Condom

  • 79% effective

  • Costs around $2-3 per internal condom, but can be $0

  • May need prescription

  • Put it in before sex

Internal condoms help protect you from STDs. Use another birth control method with your internal condom for even more pregnancy preventing power.
See All Methods

Need Help? Chat Now.

Chat online or text "PPNOW" to 774636 (PPINFO) to get answers about pregnancy, birth control, emergency contraception, STDs, and abortion. 

Standard message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to quit at anytime, and HELP for info.


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