Birth Control Methods: Cervical Cap

By Eva

What is it?
A cervical cap is a silicone cup that you insert in your vagina to cover your cervix. It’s about an inch and half wide and one inch high. The only brand available is called the FemCap.

How does it work?
By covering the cervix, it prevents sperm from reach the egg in the uterus. It is recommended to also use with spermicide for extra protection.

How do you use it?
Be sure to insert it several hours before you have sex and leave it in six hours after sex. Make sure to not leave it in for more than 48 hours. You can use the same cap for up to two years. Inserting the cap takes a bit of practice but you can do it! First, wash your hands and make sure there aren’t any holes in the cap. Then, put spermicide in the dome of the cap and spread some around the rim. Squeeze the rim of the cap together, slide the cap in with the dome side down. Insert it in your vagina and push towards you anus, and then up and onto your cervix. Make sure your cervix is totally covered. It may be helpful to see picture examples of how to insert it.

How much does it cost?
The cost depends on whether you have insurance or not. If you have Medicaid or insurance, the patch is free under most plans. If you don’t have insurance, the price ranges from $89-$130, which is about $0-$24 per month.

Side effects?
With all methods, there are positive and negative side effects. The benefits is that you can put the cap in hours in advance of intercourse, and you can have sex as many times as you like while it’s in. You won’t be able to feel it and neither will your partner. It will not affect your hormones, and can be used while breastfeeding. Although, for some women it can be difficult to insert or can cause vaginal irritation, and some experience urinary tract infections. If you’re allergic to spermicide or silicone, you shouldn’t use it, and it can also be pushed out of place during sex.

Is this right for you?
The cervical cap is recommended for people that haven’t had a baby yet, but if you want to use it you wouldn’t mind getting pregnant. It has a failure rate that range from 14-29%, which is pretty high. You can use the cervical cup is you are comfortable with your body since you’ll put your fingers inside your vagina. It also take discipline and planning, since you have to put it in before having sex.

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