The internal/inside/insertive (or female) condom is a nitrile sheath that covers the walls of the vagina or anus during penetration, to prevent pregnancy and/or infections.

You can get *free* receptive condoms at our sexual health clinics or they are available to purchase in most drug stores.

The internal or female condom is a sheath made of polyurethane intended to line the vaginal or anal canal. It is one of only 2 methods that can provide protection against both pregnancy and many STIs.


  • Reliable if used correctly 95% with perfect use. Average use makes it 79% effective against pregnancy
  • Nitrile (non-latex) which makes suitable for people with latex sensitivities
  • Reduce risks of both pregnancy and STIs. Provides more coverage for skin based STIs such as herpes and HPV
  • Can be put in several hours before sex
  • Available in drug stores, grocery stores, health clinics without a prescription
  • Can be used for either vaginal or anal sex


  • Must be used before sex
  • Only available in one brand –FC2 or Female Condom 2
  • May more difficult to use initially than typical condoms – practice will make this easier!
  • May be more expensive  and more difficult to find in stores than other condoms

How effective is the internal or female condom?

95% effective with perfect use – this means following the detailed instructions perfectly. With average use, the effectiveness drops to 79%.

How do condoms work to prevent pregnancy and STIs?

Condoms are a physical barrier that stops the sperm from entering the vagina and meeting up with an egg in the uterus. Condoms also prevent the exchange of all sexual fluids and reduce the amount of skin to skin contact which make them effective in reducing the risk of STIs.

How do I get condoms?

Anyone at any age can buy condoms! You can always find them at drug stores and some grocery stores, You can often get them for free from sexual health clinics and other community agencies. You can always get free condoms at Island Sexual Health.

How do I use a internal condom for vaginal sex?

The internal condom is inserted in the vagina before sex. It can be inserted immediately before or a few hours before – whatever works best for you!

  1. Check the expiry date which is stamped on the outside seam of the package. You can spread the lubrication in the package before opening by rubbing the package together with your hands.
  2. Open the package by tearing the package straight down from the arrow marked near the top.
  3. Unfold the condom and hold the inner ring (at the top) between your thumb and index finger.
  4. Squeeze the inner ring together and slide an index finger inside the condom and push it into the vagina as far as possible using the inner ring.The inner ring will hold the condom in place while the sides of the condom line the vaginal walls.
  5. Hold the outer ring in place (on the outside of the body!) as whatever (penis, sex toy) is guided into the vagina.
  6. After sex, hold the outer ring and twist and slide out of the vagina.
  7. Wrap in a tissue and discard into a garbage.

How do I use the internal condom for anal sex?

The internal condom has not been officially recommended to be used during anal sex. However, people have reported using it as a method to help reduce the risks of STIs. Here is some more info from the UK about using the internal condom during anal sex.

Anything else I should know about internal or female condoms?

  • use a condom every time you have sex!
  • using condoms helps prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • use water or oil based lubricants with internal condoms to avoid breakage and discomfort
  • only use each condom once!
  • don’t carry condoms anywhere they might get damaged or hot ie: your wallet
  • both partners can help put the condom on properly!
  • NEVER use two condoms at the same time during sex as the friction can cause both to break
  • Internal condoms are not difficult to use, but it may take some practice to get used to it. Users should practice putting it in and removing it prior to using it for the first time during sexual intercourse.
  • It is important that the penis is guided into the centre of the condom and not between the vaginal wall/anal canal wall and the outer side of the internal condom.
  • Internal condoms are made from nitrile so are great for people who are allergic or sensitive to latex.

The internal condom can be more challenging to insert and use at first than a typical, but it gets easier with practice!