The female condom symbolises empowerment, or at least that was the thought behind it when it became popular in the 90s. Invented by a Danish male doctor, Lasse Hessel (try saying Lasse Hessel with your mouth full), the female condom or femidom has had its ups and downs.

We will look at the female condom, internal condoms and their history, give you the lowdown on how they work, and some interesting facts about this form of birth control, including some expert recommendations.

Table of Contents:

The History of Internal Condoms

There are some internet disputes about when female or internal condoms first appeared on the birth control scene, but reports say that farmers placed female condoms of sorts inside female sheep and cows to collect semen for animal husbandry and general breeding purposes at the beginning of the 18th century.

There’s also talk about female condoms in Ancient Greece and the nuptials of King Minos of Crete and his wife, Pasiphae. Poor Pasiphae would use a primitive internal goat bladder condom to protect her from her husband’s semen, which was made up of ‘serpents and scorpions’.

It sounds like a plain old-fashioned STD to me, but the son of Zeus and Europa might say that as his semen killed his mistress. Minos and his anthropoidal semen are mythology, but there’s some truth in the origin of the internal condom.

What is a Modern Female Condom?

A female condom is a pouch-like device made from nitrile (synthetic rubber), polyurethane, or latex (but not usually). This condom pouch fits inside the vagina and covers your cervix, preventing sperm from entering. A ‘ring’ at each end holds it in place: the inner ring sits at the closed end of the pouch and goes inside the vagina, while the outer ring sits outside.

The advantages of using female condoms over condoms men use include a NO erection clause, meaning you are not dependent on a partner’s erect penis to work. No wait times mean you can start using them before play begins. The outer ring helps with clitoral stimulation, leading to better orgasms for most women.

Additionally, our customers tell us that female condoms don’t reduce sensation as much as regular condoms, a barrier method of contraception of this type means you don’t have to think about unwanted pregnancy and STDs like herpes or HPV.

Using Internal Condoms

When using female condoms, ensure you have the right size and type of condom before you start. The most common sizing is 178 mm long by 81 mm wide, but some manufacturers make larger sizes if your partner has a penis bigger than 178 mm.

To use an internal condom correctly, follow our step-by-step guide.

  1. First, lubricate the outside of the internal condom.
  2. Insert the inner ring inside your vagina and push it up as far back as you can with one hand while you hold onto the outer ring with your other hand — just like you would insert a contraceptive cap or IUD.
  3. When comfortable, ensure the end that protrudes; the pouch covers all genital contact surfaces.

Finally, when you and your partner are ready to have sex, make sure his penis enters the condom pouch and not between it and the side of your vagina — side pouching is not easy, but it is possible to side pouch by mistake.

Where to Buy Female Condoms

You can get female condoms, internal condoms and femidoms plus all sorts of lubricant from

Facts about Internal or Female Condoms

  • Internal condoms are relatively inexpensive compared to other methods of contraception, like the IUD or implants, and they don’t require a prescription or measuring.
  • Unlike male condoms, female or internal condoms allow both partners to feel everything during sex without reducing sensitivity while adding stimulus from the outer ring.
  • You should use internal condoms with water-based lubricants, not silicone-based ones.
  • Unlike male condoms, female condoms can be used erection free, so you can use a female condom from the start of sex and don’t need to remove it immediately after.
  • Female condoms may reduce the risk of STDs, such as gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, and chlamydia. Reduced risk from STDs is standard for male condoms too.

Expert Recommendations for Internal Condoms

  1. Make sure you use a new female condom every time you have sex, and check the expiration date on the package — this advice applies to male and female condoms.
  2. Female condoms can slip or tear, just like male condoms, if not used correctly, so follow instructions before sex. Pre-sex trial and error apply here, so get a few packets just in case.
  3. Always use plenty of lubricants when inserting an internal condom to reduce friction, reduce the risk of tears and avoid pesky irritation.
  4. Apply common sense and never use a female condom and a male condom together; it’s a disaster waiting to happen, apart from the fact it’s really uncomfortable.
  5. Like any other condom, when you’re finished, dispose of the internal condom in the bin and NEVER down the toilet.

Internal and Female Condoms We Recommend

We have an extensive range of female internal condoms, from the So Sexy Female Condom to Ormelle Female Condoms, that come in attractive pink foil packets. Uniq Air Latex Free Female Condoms are as light as air, and finally, Pasante offers an internal condom perfect for anal sex.

So why wait to get on board? Embrace your power, don’t wait for your man to get it on; get there first!

Jun 6, 2023
Written by:
Victoria Walsh