What is it? How does it work?
The internal condom (also named FC2 by the manufacturer) is a nitrile (synthetic rubber), latex-free, tubular pouch you insert into the vagina. An internal condom works by covering the vagina and preventing the sperm from reaching an egg. An internal condom is a great example of a “barrier method”.
One bonus of the internal condom is that you can insert it anytime before intercourse (such as before you go out on a date)!
For step-by-step instructions of how to use an internal condom, scroll to the bottom of this article or visit FC2’s website.
How effective is it?
With typical use, internal condoms are about 79% effective. If used perfectly, they are 95% effective. It’s important to use them correctly every single time you have sex if this is your main method of birth control. Using water or oil based lubricants is safe and won’t decrease the effectiveness!
It is extremely important to know that your partner should NOT wear an external condom if you are using an internal condom. This makes both condoms more likely to rip and actually reduces the effectiveness of either method.
Can I use it with other birth control methods?
The internal condom can be used with other birth control methods, such as the pill, injections, IUD contraceptives, post-sterilization, and post-vasectomy.
The internal condom cannot be used with the diaphragm, cervical cap, sponge, or the ring because the inner ring of the internal condom fits into the same place at the cervix. An internal condom should not be reused; a new condom must be used each time you have intercourse.
What are the risks?
Fortunately, internal condoms do not have too many side effects associated with them. They are made from non-latex materials and they are hormone-free. If they are not used correctly, the risk of STI or pregnancy is higher.
One concern some people have is that the condom will get lost in their vagina - if it gets pushed into the vagina, simply insert your fingers until you feel the ring, pull the condom out, and replace it.
Additionally, the following events are rare but can occur: discomfort during insertion, pain after insertion before sex, discomfort during sex, burning sensation, rash or itching.
How does it affect pleasure during sex?
Many people say the internal condom enhances pleasure during intercourse. For people with vaginas, the outer ring can help stimulate the clitoris. For people with penises, it’s wider than the external condom, which can be more comfortable. You can use the internal condom in any sexual position.
Will my insurance cover it?
Internal condoms are reimbursable through insurance and can be prescribed by a doctor.
Does it protect me against sexually transmitted infections?
The nice thing about internal condoms is that they provide protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). With typical use, internal condoms are about 79% effective. If used perfectly, they are 95% effective.
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