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Title image for article on how to use internal condoms

How to Use an Internal Condom

What you need to know about how to use an Internal Condom.

Condoms can be tricky to use at first, but they get easier with practice. Before you need to use one, maybe practice a few times so that things will go smoothly when you need it most. Here’s a step-by-step guide for using an internal condom (like you’d put in a vagina* or anus).

For more info on condoms, see our pages on The External Condom and The Internal Condom.

1. check the expiry date and feel for air

If a condom is expired, it’s less likely to be effective. Press on the condom package to make sure there’s still air inside. Air inside means the condom packaging hasn’t been damaged.

2. open the condom package

Squeeze the condom to one side of the package, and pull down from the tab at the top on the opposite side with your fingers. Practice doing this so that you don’t tear the condom.

Note: Opening the condom package with your nails, teeth, or other sharp objects (eg, scissors) can break it.

3. how to hold

Hold the condom at the closed end, with the open end hanging down. Grasp the flexible inner ring and squeeze with the thumb and middle finger so it becomes long and narrow. Consider adding lube to the outside of the condom to help make insertion smoother.

 4. choose a position and insert

Squat, raise one leg, sit or lie down. Gently insert the inner ring into the vagina or anus. Push the condom in as far as it will go – close to the pubic bone. Make sure it’s not twisted. The outer ring should remain about an inch outside the vagina or anus.

 5. adding lube (optional)

Lube can help increase pleasure and prevent condoms breaking. You can add lube to the inside of the condom or to the outside of a penis or sex toy. Feel free to reapply as desired.

6. guiding things in

Gently guide your partner’s penis or sex toy into the vagina or anus. It’s easy for the penis or toy to slip between the condom and the walls of the vagina/anus, so be mindful that the penis or toy are going into the condom. Once a penis or toy is inserted, if there is discomfort, withdraw the penis or toy and reposition the inner ring.

7. using it while doing it

If a penis or toy slips between the condom and the walls of the vagina/anus or if the outer ring is pushed inside the vagina/anus, it’s a good idea to stop what you’re doing and readjust.

In the case of a penis, as long as they have not ejaculated you can remove the condom, add lubricant (or spermicide), and insert it once again (see Step 4). In this scenario, there should be no increase in a risk of pregnancy. However, there could be an increase in the risk of STIs.

8. remove the condom and throw it out

To remove the condom, twist the outer ring and gently pull it out. Throw it into the garbage. Don’t flush condoms down the toilet. They will clog pipes.

Use a new internal condom for every sex act. Do not reuse condoms. Do not use the same internal condom for vaginal and anal sex.

Download Teen Health Source’s guide on how to use internal condoms: How To: Internal Condoms


*We know that these aren’t the words everyone uses for their bodies (eg. trans folks), and support you using the language that feels best for you.

Art by Victor Martins