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Female condom

When used properly, the internal (female) condom protects against unplanned pregnancy and STIs, including HIV.

Here are some interesting facts about the internal condom:

  • Part of the condom stays outside the body and covers more of the skin around the genitals, giving more STI protection
  • It can be put into the vagina up to 2 hours before intercourse and it does not need to be taken out immediately after intercourse
  • It can be used for both vaginal (frontal) and anal sex, but it has not been approved for anal sex (this is considered "off label" use)
  • It can be used with any type of lubrication
  • It is not affected by temperature or humidity and has a shelf life of 5 years
  • It takes at least three tries before most people feel comfortable using it
  • Some men and women prefer it to the external (male) condom

How to use for vaginal and anal sex

The internal condom is used for vaginal sex and anal sex. There are two ways to use this condom. It can be put over the erect penis before having intercourse or it can be inserted into the vagina (or anus) before intercourse.

To insert the condom you need to:

  • Find a comfortable position, lying, sitting or standing with one foot raised
  • Hold the smaller ring (at the closed end) and squeeze it between the thumb and middle finger
  • Put it into the vagina or anus, pushing it inside as far as possible; the outer ring will stay outside the body
  • Make sure that the penis is directed inside the condom and not to the side of it
  • During intercourse, the outer ring will lie flat against the body when the penis enters the vagina or anus
  • Soon after sex, twist the condom and gently pull it out, making sure that no semen is spilled
  • Tie it in a knot and put it in the garbage

Reports of broken condoms are rare, but it could happen if the penis is pushing against the end of the condom. Find out what to do if a condom breaks.

Resources

HealthLink BC – Condoms help prevent STIs
AVERT.org – The female condom
How to use a female condom for vaginal sex – Youtube video demonstration
Planned Parenthood – Female condoms: Youtube video demonstration

Search related content:
condom, birth control, contraception, prevention
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