Internal Condom

  • 79 - 95 % Effective
  • STI Protection
  • Single use

What is the internal condom?

The internal condom is a soft pouch made of nitrile (synthetic rubber), that has two flexible rings at each end. It is inserted into the vagina or anus before having sex.

Fpv Female Condom
Photo of internal condom

How effective is the internal condom?

Internal condoms are 95% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly, every time you have sex. Incorrect use, slips or breaks can mean that internal condoms might only be 79% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How does the internal condom work?

The internal condom protects against pregnancy and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) by creating a barrier between the vagina or anus before entry of a penis or sex toy. The internal condom stops ejaculate (cum) from the penis entering the vagina, which will prevent pregnancy. The internal condom prevents exchange of fluids and direct contact of genitals or sex toys between partners, which will prevent STIs. Use a new internal condom every time you have sex. Use a new condom if you switch from one kind of sex to another (from anal to vaginal or vice versa).

How to use the internal condom?

Check the expiry date before use. Squeeze the flexible ring at the closed end of the internal condom and insert the ring and internal condom into the vagina or anus. The flexible ring at the opening of the internal condom remains outside the vagina or anus and spreads over part of the genital skin. There are instructions on each pack.

Illustration of internal condom inserted inside vagina

Guide the penis or sex toy inside the internal condom so it does not slip under the internal condom. If the penis slips under the internal condom, there is no protection from pregnancy or sexually transmissible infections (STIs). If the internal condom slips or bunches up when the penis or sex toy goes inside, use more lubricant.

Each internal condom can only be used once and then be thrown away into a bin (not down the toilet). To prevent pregnancy and STIs, the internal condom should be inserted before the penis or sex toy touches the vagina or anus.

Internal condoms can be used with water-based, oil-based or silicone-based lubricants (lube). Lube is a jelly or liquid like material that can help to reduce friction during sex, which prevents condoms from breaking. It can also make sex more comfortable and pleasurable for all partners.

Keep in mind silicone-based lubricant used with silicone sex toys may damage the toy and increase the risk of transmitting STIs. Check the lube product label before using.

Where can I get the internal condom?

Internal condoms can be difficult to get, and they are more expensive than external condoms. They may be available at family planning clinics, sex shops, some pharmacies/chemists, and online. Lube is available from supermarkets, pharmacies/chemists and petrol stations. Some clinics, youth services and community health services provide lube for free.

What stops the internal condom from working?

Internal condoms might not work if they are:

  • used incorrectly
  • past their expiry date
  • torn when opening packet
  • kept in hot places for a long time (like a car glove box in summer).

What is good about the internal condom?

  • Protects against sexually transmissible infections (STIs).
  • Easy to use.
  • Little or no side effects.
  • Can be bought without a script.
  • Can be used with any type of lubrication.
  • Can be inserted hours before having sex.

Are there any side effects from using the internal condom?

They can occasionally cause irritation of the vagina, penis or anus.

Can the internal condom cause any serious health problems?

There are no known serious health risks from using the internal condom.

Reasons why the internal condom might not be a good option:

Cost may be an issue (they are around $3 each).

What if I had sex without using an internal condom?

If you or your partner do not want to get pregnant, you might need emergency contraception, if you had sex without using an internal condom or other contraception (check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist).

If you or sexual partner(s) are concerned about STI risk, you might need STI and BBV testing.

If you or sexual partner(s) are concerned about HIV risk, you might need post exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

What happens if I get pregnant while I am using the internal condom?

It is safe to continue the pregnancy or to have an abortion.

Can I use internal condoms after I have had a baby?

You can use internal condoms any time after giving birth.

What else should I know about the internal condom?

  • Wrap used internal condoms in tissue and throw away safely. Do not flush internal condoms down the toilet.

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Where to get more information and support

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This website and any related materials are for general information purposes only and should not be relied on as (or in substitution for) medical or other professional advice. You should seek specific medical or professional advice for your individual circumstances.

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Last updated: 30 August 2021

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