Get the facts on the internal condom

Previously known as the female condom

FC2 product image with National Condom Month logo

February is National #CondomMonth, bringing awareness to the importance of wearing a condom for non-hormonal birth control and prevention of STI transmission.

When most people envision condoms, they think of the male condom, but did you know there is another option? The FC2® Internal Condom. FC2® is an alternative for vaginal use that can be considered if male condoms are not working for your or your partner.

In the spirit of National Condom Month, we are bringing you all the up-to-date information to set the record straight on some common misconceptions of the internal condom!

Read on to get the facts on FC2® and what it can do for you!
  • First Idea

    FC2 First Idea image

    Idea for the female condom first transpired.1

  • First Prototype

    doctor holding stethoscope

    First prototype was developed by Danish physician, Lasse Hessel.1

  • First Model

    First Model

    First model of the female condom was approved by the FDA. Known as the Reality® Condom / FC1 and made of polyurethane.2

  • Evolution

    female hand taking condom out of FC2 packaging

    FC1 user feedback led to the development of the improved FC2® Female Condom! Product improvements included being made from nitrile rather than polyurethane for reduced noise and enhanced comfort, removing the seam, and using rolled nitrile for a softer outer ring. The FDA approved FC2® and FC1 was discontinued.

  • $0 Out-of-Pocket

    male doctor handing prescription to female patient

    With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, most insured women were given the opportunity to access FC2® for birth control with $0 out-of-pocket cost (when prescribed by a healthcare provider)!

  • Re-Classification

    FC2 Re-classification

    The FDA re-classified FC2® from a “single-use female condom” to a “single-use internal condom”, a class II medical device. As such, the formerly known FC2® Female Condom is now the FC2® Internal Condom!

How to Use FC2

  • Click here to read step-by-step instructions in English.
  • Click here to read step-by-step instructions in Spanish.
  • Before using FC2®, please read the product leaflet and complete product labeling information: fc2.us.com/labeling.

How to Get FC2®:

Please read on for more details in Myth #1

MYTHS AND FACTS

FACT: FC2® can be accessed in many different ways! Prescription is just one channel of access.

  • Prescription. FC2® is considered an over-the-counter form of contraception, but similar to prenatal vitamins and breast pumps, it is also covered by many women’s insurance plans. This means that it is available with $0 out-of-pocket cost for most insured women when prescribed by an HCP. Thus, getting a prescription for FC2® is the most cost-effective way for most women to get the product!
    To get a prescription:
    • Telemedicine providers will conduct a virtual medical visit to write you a prescription for FC2®.
    • FC2® is currently offered through:
    • Through both Telemed providers, your prescription can be mailed to you discreetly each month so you don’t have to remember to pick it up at your local pharmacy!
      • For HeyDoctor, select one of the preferred mail-order pharmacies.
      • The Pill Club will ship to you directly.
    Admittedly, some HCPs are not aware of this option and have the misconception that the only way to get FC2® is from a clinic such as Planned Parenthood, but that is not the case.
    • Print out or show this resource to your provider (FC2® Factsheet).
    • Prescriptions written by your healthcare provider can be sent to a mail-order pharmacy so that your FC2® is delivered discreetly to you each month – so you don’t need to remember or spend time picking it up!
    • FC2® prescriptions can also be taken to your local pharmacy. All pharmacies have the ability to stock and dispense FC2®, but they may have to order it for you. Pharmacists can find FC2® in their system by looking up the below information:
      • UPC 61783-000-12
      • NDC 61783-0000-12
      • GTIN 00861783000126
    • If you face obstacles accessing coverage for the internal condom, we encourage you to contact the CoverHer hotline (org or 1-866-745-5487) for assistance.
  • Direct purchase through this website! A prescription, while the most cost-effective option for most insured women, should not hold you back from using the FC2® Internal Condom. Both men and women, regardless of insurance status, can purchase one or two 12-packs ($28.95-$47.95) each month through our website. Want FC2® delivered on the regular? No problem! Subscription service is also available so you and your partner don’t have to wait to reorder after your supply has run out.
  • Community distribution. There are many clinics, departments of health (DOHs), and other non-profit organizations that provide their communities with free access to FC2®. Use this interactive map to see which location is closest to you. If you are a clinic, DOH, or another non-profit organization that would like to purchase FC2 in bulk, please click here.
FACT: FC2®, which is made of nitrile and not latex, has be proven to be 95% effective at helping to prevent pregnancy and STIs when used correctly! Studies have shown that it is just as effective as latex for prevention.3 Nitrile is also commonly used to make medical gloves; an alternative to latex for surgeon’s and you! FC2® must be used correctly during every sex act, however. If it is used incorrectly, or not used at all, its efficacy drops to 79%.
FACT: The FC2® Internal Condom is easy to use! Like the first time for anything – whether it be tampons, contact lenses, some other form of contraception, male condoms, or riding a bike 😉 – it takes a little practice before you are a pro, but most users feel comfortable after just a few tries.

FACT: FC2® lines the inside of the woman’s vagina, providing virtually the same amount of space for movement as when nothing is worn. Unlike male condoms, internal condoms are about fitting the vagina, not the penis, providing less restriction for men regardless of their size. No more worrying about a less than perfect fit!

FACT: On the contrary, many women and men report a pleasurable and more natural experience during intercourse due to the way nitrile conducts heat and because FC2® lines the vagina rather than the penis.4,5 If either ring is causing discomfort, FC2® may have been inserted incorrectly. Try re-positioning or reinserting the FC2® Internal Condom.

FACT: This was a common belief with FC1, the first female condom, which was discontinued in 2009. FC1 was made from polyurethane, but FC2® is made from nitrile, solving the noise problem. However, if some noise is still experienced and it is bothering, it could be due to dryness, so extra lubricant can be added.

FACT: Because FC2® is not made of latex, you can use both water- and oil-based lubricants! The choice is yours.

FACT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved FC2® for a 5 year shelf life from the date of manufacture. Due to the properties of nitrite, FC2® is not affected by differences in temperature and/or humidity, so no special storage conditions are required.
FACT: No. Reuse of any condom is not recommended – male or female! A new condom should be used every time you have intercourse.
FACT: Internal condoms can be used during menstruation, but they cannot be used at the same time as a tampon.
FACT: Go wild! The FC2® Internal Condom can be used in any sexual position without falling out.
FACT: Because the internal condom doesn’t go past the cervix, it can be used during pregnancy. Any concerns or conditions should be checked with a healthcare professional.
FACT: Do not do this! The two condoms would cause friction, which can lead to the tearing of both or one of the condoms, opening the possibility of STI transmission or pregnancy.

FACT: Although most women insert FC2® between 2 and 20 minutes in advance, the FC2® Internal Condom can actually be placed in the vagina up to a couple hours in advance!

FACT: Worry not – this is not possible! At the end of the vagina is the cervix, the entrance to the uterus, which stops anything from going beyond it. If you’ve ever used a tampon and had the string come off or move inside, it is the same process. If the FC2® gets pushed all the way into the vagina, simply relax, insert your finger into the vaginal opening, locate the ring, and pull the FC2® out. Throw out the FC2® that was pushed inside the vagina, open a new FC2®, and try again.

Have other questions or concerns not answered here? Check out our FAQs on the main site or shoot us an email: info@fc2.us.com.

We are happy to help!

  1. The History of the Condom. (n.d.). Retrieved January 07, 2019, from http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/sexinfo/article/history-condom
  2. Obstetrical and Gynecological Devices; Reclassification of Single-Use Female Condom, To Be Renamed Single-Use Internal Condom. (2017, December 4). Retrieved January 15, 2019, from https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/04/2017-26011/obstetrical-and-gynecological-devices-reclassification-of-single-use-female-condom-to-be-renamed
  3. Potter, WD. Review of Female Condom Viral Barrier Study, July 2004, Stapleford Scientific Services Limited.
  4. Moore, L., Beksinska, M., Rumphs, A., Festin, M., & Gollub, E. L. (2015). Knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviors associated with female condoms in developing countries: A scoping review. Open Access Journal of Contraception,125-142. doi:10.2147/OAJC.S55041
  5. MatCH Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand; HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Medical Center; USAID; and Project SOAR. 2017. “Evaluation of South Africa’s National Female Condom Programme.” Washington, DC: USAID.