What is it?
The internal condom is a thin, strong, tube-shaped condom made from polyurethane. It has a flexible ring on each end. The thicker ring on the closed end is inserted into the vagina as far as it can go (until it touches the cervix) and the other ring hangs about an inch outside the vagina. The internal condom can be used during vaginal or oral sex on a vagina. The internal condom is sometimes used for anal sex; however, it has not been tested for this use.
What are some advantages?
- The internal condom is very effective at helping prevent STDs. Male and female condoms are the only barrier methods that do this.
- The internal condom can be effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly every time.
- You don’t have to go to a clinic or healthcare provider to get them.
- Condoms are easy to carry around and have on hand to be prepared.
- They can be inserted several hours before having sex.
What are some disadvantages?
- The internal condom is not as effective at preventing pregnancy as IUDs, implants or hormonal birth control methods.
- The internal condom is often used incorrectly.
- Some people are uncomfortable inserting the condom.
- The internal condom could cause irritation of the vagina, penis or anus.
- It could slip inside the vagina or anus.
- Can be expensive and difficult to find in drugstores compared to the external condom.
Where and how do you get it?
You can find internal condoms at drugstores (not as easy to find as external condoms), at on-line retailers or a clinic. You do not need a prescription to buy condoms, and you do not need an ID. People of all ages can easily buy condoms. It is very important to know how to use it correctly! Some healthcare clinics give them away for free.