An internal condom is a pouch inserted into the vagina. It's not the prettiest thing in the world but it is a method that gives users lots of control. Internal condoms work the same way that condoms do, except that they're worn on the inside instead of sticking it on a penis. They keep sperm inside the condom and out of the vagina.
Internal condoms help protect users from most sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
Internal condoms take effort and commitment
However, they must be used correctly, every time, no matter what, in order for them to be effective.
Your partner refuses to wear a condom
If your partner won't wear a condom, but you still want protection against STIs, the internal condom is the way to go.
No prescription necessary
For those who can't make it to the doctor (or don't want to), internal condoms are available over-the-counter—though they can be a lot harder to find than other condoms.
Cool for people with latex allergies
Unlike most condoms, internal condoms are made of polyurethane (plastic) or nitrile (a synthetic rubber), so even those with latex allergies can use them.
Internal condoms don’t make much of an appearance at everyday pharmacies and drugstores, but can be found online, and for a consistent price—usually somewhere in the range of $1.75 - $3.50 per condom. They’re not quite as cheap as the condom, but if cost isn’t the only factor to consider, they can be a great option for pregnancy and STI prevention.
Payment assistance: Check with a local family planning clinics and find out if they offer free or low-cost internal condoms and other kinds of birth control (most do).
- Amazon.com: $1.30 - $3.50
- Condomania.com: $3.00 - $3.40
- Condomjungle.com: $1.75 - $2.40
- CVS.com: $1.85 - $2.50
- Drugstore.com: $2.00 - $2.10
- LuckyBloke.com: $1.90 - $2.10
- Walgreens.com: $2.00 - $2.20
Note: These prices are averaged—including taxes and standard shipping costs—from a survey of select online vendors as of June 2016. Prices may change over time.
How to Use It
Internal condoms are really pretty easy to use, but it takes a bit of practice and getting used to. And remember, for those relying on internal condoms, they must be used EVERY SINGLE TIME.
How to insert an Internal Condom
- Put some spermicide or lubricant on the outside of the closed end.
- Get comfy, like you're going to put in a tampon.
- Squeeze the sides of the closed-end ring together and insert it like a tampon.
- Push the ring as far into your vagina as it'll go, all the way to your cervix.
- Pull out your finger and let the outer ring hang about an inch outside your vagina.
- If you want to use a internal condom for anal sex, follow the same process. But with your anus, of course.
Don't worry if it moves side to side while you're doing it. That's normal. If a penis slips out of the condom and into the vagina, gently remove it and reinsert. But if ejaculate gets outside of the internal condom and into the vagina by accident, you may want to consider Emergency Contraception.
How to remove an Internal Condom
- Squeeze the outer ring and twist it closed like a baggie, so semen doesn't spill out.
- Pull the condom out gently.
- Throw it away in a trash can (preferably one that is out of the reach of children and pets). Don't flush it down the toilet!
One final thing. You might think using a condom along with a internal condom doubles your protection. Not true. It'd just make both more likely to rip. So don't do it.
Every method has its own positives and negatives, and because everyone's birth control is different what one person experiences may not be the same as another's experiences.
- Helps protect from STIs.
- The outer ring may stimulate the clitoris.
- No prescription necessary.
- Can be used even if you're allergic to latex.
- Can be used with both oil-based and water-based lube.
- Can cause irritation.
- Some people may be sensitive to certain brands of lubricant (If so, try another brand).
- Can reduce sensitivity during sex.
- The first generation internal condom (FC1) can be kinda squeaky sounding (but the newer version, FC2, shouldn't be).