Page 4: Female Condom

The female or “internal” condom is a polyurethane sheath that is placed in the vagina to collect semen and prevent sperm from entering the uterus. The end of the sheath is held in place inside the vagina by a small flexible ring. A second, larger ring remains outside the vagina. Lubricant is provided with the female condom; it is placed inside the sheath and on the penis. When penetration occurs, the penis is placed inside the sheath. Since female condoms are made of polyurethane material, they are less likely to break or tear but may be pulled out of the vagina during the natural motions of intercourse, unless adequate lubrication is used inside the sheath. They are also safe to use if you or your partner has a latex allergy.


Things to consider when using the female condom

  • Female condoms also have an expiration date on the package and should not be used if the product has expired.
  • Female condoms can be damaged by using sharp objects to open the package. Simply tear the package across the top to open.
  • For optimal effectiveness the female condom must be in place before any penile penetration occurs. Wash your hands before insertion.
  • Female condoms may be inserted several hours prior to intercourse. It does not interfere with foreplay and insertion may be incorporated into foreplay.
  • DO NOT attempt to use a male condom in combination with a female condom; friction can cause breakage.
  • Female condoms are designed to be used only one time. Properly dispose of it after use.
  • Female condoms may be used inside the rectum for anal sex. Some choose to remove the inner ring for this.
  • To remove the condom after intercourse, twist the outer ring so the semen does not spill, and gently pull. It will slip out of the body easily and without discomfort.
  • One needs to be comfortable with touching and inserting their finger into the vagina to be comfortable using a female condom. It may require some practice to become comfortable inserting it and having intercourse with it in place.
  • Female condoms offer protection against sexually transmitted diseases.

Female condoms are not available at McKinley Health Center. They are available over the counter in most drug stores, or at Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is located at 302 East Stoughton Street, Champaign, Illinois (217-359-8022).