WHAT IT IS
A pouch made of polyurethane or nitrile that is inserted into a vagina or anus.
HOW IT WORKS
Internal condoms work like male condoms but inside of being on the penis, they go inside the vagina or anus and collect sperm there.
Female condoms are 79% effective.
Note: When we talk about effectiveness we mean typical use numbers or what happens when couples used this method of birth control pretty well; it accounts for human errors and occasional contraceptive failure. BUT, teenagers are often not as careful as older people in using these methods, so real typical use rates for teens may be a little worse than what you see here. Keep that in mind as you're looking at the options and remember that for birth control to be effective, you have to use it consistently and correctly every single time.
- Relatively easy to use.
- No visit to a health care professional required.
- STI protection.
- Ok to use if you have a latex allergy.
Some women are uncomfortable inserting the female condom.
Note: Not every woman experiences these drawbacks—they are just some of the ones that are commonly reported. Talk to your medical provider to learn more and keep in mind that if this method doesn’t work for you, there are LOTS more out there…but it’s best to wait at least six months to see if things get better before you decide to switch. If they don’t, or if you just can’t deal with them, talk with your medical provider about finding something that works for you.
NEED TO SEE A MEDICAL PROVIDER?
Nope; female condoms are available online, and in some drugstores and supermarkets, as well as at many health centers.
Originally published on stayteen.org on January 2, 2015.