Nowadays, more and more contraceptive methods are on the market: pills with a low hormonal load, pills with a high hormonal load, intrauterine contraceptives, vaginal ring or ring, female condom, hormone injections, chips, and now, the most Recent ingenuity of science to avoid conceiving when you don’t want to: the cervical cap.
Have you heard of this contraceptive method? Do you know how it works? Do you use it? This alternative, which is used only to prevent pregnancy and does not offer any protection against sexually transmitted diseases, is one of the methods most used today by women. Why? Learn in this FastlyHealarticle all about the cervical cap: advantages, disadvantages, and effectiveness.
What is the cervical cap?
The cervical cap is a female contraceptive method. It is a small cup of Vaseline inserted into the vagina until it fits on the cervix and, like a tampon, has a final band used to remove it quickly. It must be used with spermicide. It is smaller than a diaphragm, is available in different sizes, lasts for about one year, and should be inserted no earlier than 24 hours after sexual intercourse.
The cervical cap, being smaller and more rigid than the diaphragm, fits the cervix and prevents the passage of sperm. In addition, as it is used with spermicide, this substance prevents the movement of sperm, offering a double preventive action. However, because of how difficult it can be to place the cervical cap, it is not considered a widely used contraceptive method by women since it is difficult to know if the device was properly attached to the cervix.
How to correctly apply the cervical cap
To correctly place the cervical cap, we offer you the following tips:
- The first time, the cervical cap must be fitted by a gynecologist.
- Insert it no earlier than 24 hours after sexual intercourse.
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water.
- Look closely at the entire surface of the cervical cap to ensure there are no holes or tears.
- Place the spermicide on the dome and edges of the cervical cap.
- To correctly place the cervical cap, you must be comfortable. The usual postures for inserting a tampon are ideal: sitting on the edge of the chair, standing with one foot on the sink or in a chair, or squatting.
- Place your index finger and middle finger into the vagina to locate the cervix.
- Then, with the fingers of one hand, spread the labia, and with the other hand, squeeze or fold the cervical cap around the edges until it is inserted and released on the cervix.
- If this is the first time you have applied the cervical cap yourself and you are unsure if you have followed your doctor’s instructions, visit your gynecologist to verify how the device was inserted and held. While your gynecologist gives you an appointment to verify placement, abstain from sex or use another contraceptive method.
- The cap must remain on the body for up to eight hours after intercourse and cannot last in the vagina for more than 48 hours.
- Before each sexual act, it is necessary to check the position of the cervical cap and add more spermicide to the vagina.
How to remove the cervical cap correctly?
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water.
- Adopt the same position that you used to insert the cervical cap.
- Hold the thin strip for removal, press down on the dome with your fingers, and remove the cervical cap when you feel the suction on it has stopped.
- Wash the cervical cap with antibacterial soap and water. Dry it properly and store it in a cool, dark place.
- Never forget to remove the cervical cap. Otherwise, you run the risk of catching a vaginal infection.
Advantages of the cervical cap
Like all contraceptive methods, the cervical cap has advantages and disadvantages that vary depending on the female practicality. The advantages of the cervical cap are:
- It can be carried anywhere, in your bag and even in your trouser pocket.
- The man or the woman does not feel his presence.
- Its effect is immediate.
- It has no side effects on female hormones.
- It does not cause interruption of the sexual act for its placement since it can be placed up to six hours before the intimate relationship.
- It can be used as a method of contraception during breastfeeding.
- Protects against chlamydia infection.
- It lasts about two years.
Disadvantages of the cervical cap
Because there is no perfect contraceptive method on the market, here are some disadvantages of the cervical cap:
- It cannot be used if the woman has a period.
- Its placement can be complex for some women.
- It can move from its place due to the size of the penis, very sudden movements, or specific positions.
- It should be placed every time you are going to have sex.
- Women who have been pregnant may need to replace their old cervical cap with a larger one after delivery. The same is true if the woman has gained considerable weight.
- It should be removed six hours after sexual intercourse.
- Sensitivity to spermicide may occur.
- The barrier created by the cap prevents the passage of sperm but does not protect against other agents that can attack the cervix.
- The first time it must be placed by a gynecologist.
What is the effectiveness of the cervical cap?
The effectiveness of the cap may vary depending on the woman. Some factors that affect are the following:
- If the woman has been pregnant (has children).
- If the cervical cap is fitted and used correctly every time you have sex. This also implies that the woman verifies that the cup is correctly placed, that she does not insert it 24 hours before sexual intercourse, that she does not forget the use of spermicide, that she verifies the position of the cap before each intimate relationship, and that she applies spermicide again before every sexual act.
In addition to the above factors, which may vary depending on each woman, it is estimated that annually, out of every 100 women who use the cervical cap, 14 newborns become pregnant. And, in the same way, of every 100 women who use it and who have been pregnant before, 29 leave-in conditioners.
If we speak in percentage, the cervical cap has a protection effectiveness of between 84% and 91% for women who have not gotten pregnant. The effectiveness for women who have already been mothers ranges between 68% and 74%.
It is not recommended to use the cervical cap if …
- You are allergic to spermicides or silicone.
- You gave birth less than ten weeks ago.
- You have suffered cuts or injuries to the vaginal or cervical tissue.
- You have had cancer of the uterus, vagina, or vulva.
- You have difficulty inserting a tampon.
- You have a history of toxic shock syndrome.
- The muscle tone of your vagina is poor.
- You have a vaginal infection.
- You have aborted.
- You have had an operation on your reproductive system in the last ten months.
Adverse effects of the cervical cap
Although adverse effects are not familiar with the use of the cervical cap for contraception, some women have reported experiencing:
- Vaginal irritation
- Pain or discomfort, usually when the cap is misplaced.
It is essential to see a doctor if:
- Burning or pain occurs when urinating.
- If the cervical cap bothers you, even if it is well placed.
- If you have irregular bleeding.
- If you experience vaginal itching or irritation.
- If there is redness or inflammation of the vagina.
- If you secrete an abnormal flow.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Cervical cap: advantages, disadvantages, and effectiveness, we recommend that you enter our Sexuality category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.