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What's the Deal With: The Cervical Cap?

What's the Deal With: The Cervical Cap?

Barrier methods of birth control are great options if you don't want to take hormones to prevent pregnancy. They work by blocking sperm from entering your uterus, which prevents fertilization.

The cervical cap is similar to the diaphragm, it's just a little smaller. It's made of latex and is shaped like a thimble. When you insert it into your vagina, it fits snugly over your cervix and suction and your vaginal muscles keep the cap in place.


Advantages:

  • After you get fitted for one by your gyno, you can keep it for up to a year or more.
  • It's reusable.
  • There are no hormones involved, and it won't affect your menstrual cycle.
  • It won't affect future fertility.
  • Unlike a diaphragm that you can only keep in place for 24 hours, a cervical cap can be left in place up to 48 hours.
  • There's a latex-free version called the FemCap.

Want to hear the Disadvantages? Then read more

  • It's only 86% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • It can be difficult to insert or remove.
  • You must keep it in place up to 8 hours after intercourse.
  • It doesn't protect you from STIs.
  • You have to use it with spermicide, which some women have a sensitivity to.
  • It can get dislodged during sex, and if that happens, there's a chance you could get pregnant.
  • Your cervical shape changes after childbirth or an abortion, making it harder to fit. If you use a cervical cap after either of these instances, the effectiveness drops down to only 71%.
  • It may cause UTIs, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), or yeast infections.

Just like with the diaphragm, I'm not too keen on the efficiency and using this form of birth control would make me too nervous. Since condoms are 98% effective at preventing pregnancy and STIs, I think condoms are a much better option when it comes to barrier methods. What do you think?

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