What is an internal condom?
- An internal condom is a polyurethane (latex-free) pouch that creates a barrier. It goes inside a vagina or anus during sex.
- It has two flexible rings. When inserted, the smaller ring fits inside the vagina and covers the cervix. The larger ring hangs outside the vagina and part of it rests on the vulva.
- An internal condom can also be used for anal sex by removing the inside ring and using a finger to push the condom into the anus. The larger ring remains outside the body.
How does the internal condom work?
- The condom is a barrier method of protection that stops sex fluids from mixing and reduces skin-to-skin contact.
- When used for penis-vagina sex, it stops sperm from getting into the vagina. It will prevent pregnancy 79-95% of the time.
- When used for penis-vagina, penis-anus or sex with a sex toy, it helps prevent STIs/HIV.
Can the internal condom protect me from STIs and HIV?
- Yes, condoms offer protection against most STIs, including HIV.
- Compared to an external (penis) condom, the internal condom offers more protection from genital warts or herpes. An internal condom may protect you against the viruses that cause genital warts or herpes because it covers more of the genital area, though care still needs to be taken to avoid skin-to-skin contact.
Where can I get internal condoms?
- Some community clinics, Teen Clinics, nursing stations, and public health nurses offer external condoms for free.
- You can buy internal condoms at some drug stores.
- The internal condom costs a lot more than external condoms and is not as widely available.
How do I use an internal condom with a vagina?
Important: Only use one type of condom at a time.
- Pinch the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom between your thumb and middle finger.
- Put the condom in as far as it will go. Make sure the condom does not twist and that the outer ring is hanging outside the vagina.
- Put a drop of water-based lubricant on the tip of your partner’s penis, on a sex toy or at the opening of the internal condom. This helps prevent bunching up and slipping. It may also make using the condom more comfortable.
- Be sure to guide the penis or sex toy inside the internal condom. The condom twists easily. Sometimes the penis or sex toy can slip in next to the condom instead of inside the condom, be mindful of this while inserting.
- Once sex is done, lie down to take out the internal condom. Twist the outer ring a few times to create a seal (similar to closing a bread bag) to prevent fluids from leaking out.
- Pull the internal condom out gently.
- Throw it away in the trash can. Do not flush the condom down the toilet.
If you want to have more sex, put on a new condom. Use a new condom every time you ejaculate or have sex. Never reuse a condom.
How do I use an internal condom with an anus?
- Remove the inner ring.
- Drape the condom over a penis or sex toy or use your finger to push the condom into the anus. Make sure the outer ring remains outside the body.
- Follow the steps above for sealing and removing the condom.
What if the condom slips or breaks?
- If the condom slips or breaks during sex, there may be a chance of pregnancy or STI transmission (if someone has an STI).
- If you had penis-vagina sex, consider using emergency contraception as soon as possible, up to five days after sex. See your health practitioner, pharmacist, nursing station, or community health centre for emergency contraception.
- For any type of sex, consider getting an STI/HIV test.
What are some other things to remember?
- An external condom can be inserted into a vagina up to 8 hours before sex happens.
- External condoms are a latex-free option.
Where can I get more information?
- From your health care provider, community health clinic, or public health nurse. If you need a regular health care provider, call the Family Doctor Finder at 204-786-7111.
- From the Facts of Life Online: e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- From a Teen Clinic if you are 21 or younger.
- Our youth website, www.teentalk.ca.
Sexuality Education Resource Centre 2021
To view or download a PDF version of this information, click here: Internal Condoms 2021