What is a Cervical Cap?
A cervical cap is a barrier method of contraception. (Barrier methods of contraception include the diaphragm and the sponge) It is a soft dome – shaped cup which is made from silicone, with a firm and rounded rim. The cervical cap is inserted inside of your vagina in order to totally cover the uterine cervix. Like a barrier it prevents the sperm to enter the cervix and meet the ovum in the Fallopian tubes, where fertilization occurs. Spermicidal cream or spermicidal gel is recommended when a cervical cap is used in order to kill any possible sperm that have slipped the barrier.
How is the Cervical Cap used?
Cervical cap is inserted inside of the vagina in order to fully cover the cervix before a sexual intercourse. It is a barrier method of protection against unwanted pregnancies. The cervical cap is inserted a couple of minutes to several hours before the sexual intercourse. It should not be used in cases with menstrual periods. Instead use another contraceptive method, like condoms. Don’t forget to empty your bladder and to use spermicidal gel or cream before inserting the cervical cap. Make sure to insert it correctly.
Once the cap is placed it protects against pregnancies for up to 48 hours. Before having sexual intercourse again within the next 48 hours, you should check its position first and add more spermicidal gel or spermicidal cream without removing it. Do not remove the cervical cap immediately after sexual intercourse. The cervical cap should be removed 6-8 hours after sexual intercourse. The cervical cap should not be kept longer than 48 hours after insertion.
Do not forget to clean the cervical cap with hot water and soap after removing it. Dry it carefully with a clean cloth and put it in its container. Keep it in a room temperature and away from direct sunlight.
Are Cervical Caps safe?
If used right cervical caps are 96% effective. It is obvious that cervical caps are more effective when used correctly. Don’t forget to empty the bladder first, use the spermicide gel or spermicide cream and insert it correctly inside of the vagina in order to totally cover the cervix. In cases, when it is not used correctly the effectiveness drops to 86%.
Does Cervical Caps protect against STD (sexually transmitted diseases)?
No, cervical caps are only a barrier method of contraception and they do not protect against STD. Use a condom to protect yourself from STD every time you have a sexual intercourse.
For how long should I use a Cervical Cap?
Cervical caps are recommended to be replaced about once a year. Contact your health care provider in cases if you notice that your cervical cap does not fit you very well, if you have given birth recently, if you have lost or gained more than 10 pounds recently, etc.
In some cases women can be allergic to the material that is used to produce cervical caps. Cervical caps are also not recommended for woman who have had abnormal Pap tests, who have or possibly have cervical cancer or uterine cancer, who have current infection of the cervix and vagina.