The Cervical Cap
It is a silicone device that is inserted inside the vagina on the cervix to prevent sperm from passing through to the uterus
* Practical effectiveness: when measured under conditions of current use (taking into account omissions, failures, etc.)
** Theoretical effectiveness: when observed under conditions of perfect use (without problems of use and without interaction with other medicine)
Source: effectiveness percentages are taken from WHO (2018)
INTERESTING FIGURES AND DETAILS
WHERE TO GET IT?
In Luxembourg, only available online.
It can be ordered in pharmacies.
A cervical cap cost in average 60 euros. The CNS does not reimburse this contraceptive method.
(Ce prix est une indication moyenne qui peut varier)
- Ideal for women who don’t want hormonal method or who are still breastfeeding.
- No need to think about it outside of sex.
- The cervical cap is very discreet; you don’t feel it! If it is placed properly, deep inside the vagina, your partner should not feel it either.
- The cervical cap lasts for one year, making it relatively inexpensive. However, do not forget the cost of spermicides.
Bon à savoir
- The cervical cap does not protect against sexually transmitted infections. Thus, remember to use condoms.
- It is not the most reliable method of contraception. It is best to use it in combination with another method.
- The cervical cap may move if you move if you have vigorous intercourse or if your partner has a large male sex.
- It is necessary to wait for at least 6 hours after the last intercourse before removing the cervical cap.
- There are risks of irritation and allergies to silicone or spermicide.
- You need to anticipate every time you are having sex.
- A minimum of skill and attention is required. It is not easy to insert it in a hurry.
- The cervical cap cannot be left in place during menstruation.
- It is not recommended for women who have given birth to several children; the body modifications linked to childbirth can alter its correct positioning and its effectiveness.
Can the cervical cap be used without spermicide?
Yes, it is possible to use the cap without spermicide, but its effectiveness is reduced. With spermicide, it prevents pregnancy at 68% for people who have never had children and 84% for people who have 2 or more children. Its effectiveness is not tested without spermicide. If you use it without spermicide, try combining it with another technique to increase its effectiveness, such as the internal or external condom, which will also protect you from STIs!
I feel like I have a weird vaginal smell with the cervical cap. Can I perfume it?
It is possible to have a different vaginal smell especially if the cap is left in for more than 24 hours. Only a gentle cleaning with warm water of the cervical cap is recommended. The use of perfumes could disturb your vaginal flora and encourage irritation and infections. Nevertheless, if unusual vaginal smell persists, do not hesitate to consult your physician.
I have inserted my cervical cap upside down! What to do?
Remove it, clean it with warm water and re-insert it. Don’t forget to reapply some spermicide again!
What is the difference between the cervical cap and the diaphragm?
Both devices are placed in the vagina, but the diaphragm is supported by the muscles of the vagina while the cervical cap is placed on the cervix and held in place by suction.
Can I keep the cervical cap on all day?
Yes and no.
Before intercourse: you can keep the cervical cap inserted for 2 hours before intercourse.
After intercourse: you should keep the cervical cap inserted at least for 6 hours after sex. You can keep it in up to 48 hours after sex, but after that you increase your risk of having a toxic shock syndrome.
What is a toxic shock syndrome?
Toxic shock syndrome is a serious reaction that requires a quick trip to the emergency room. It is caused by a bacteria called “staphylococcus aureus” which is present in 1% of women without causing any problems. However, if there is a lot of fluid in the vagina, it creates a favorable environment for the bacteria to multiply and, if there is enough of it, it will produce a toxin which will then affect the body. Warning symptoms are fever and flu symptoms, and/or loss of consciousness, after forgetting a tampon, a menstrual cup, a diaphragm or a cervical cap beyond the recommended time. As a reminder, it is advisable to change your tampon every 4-6 hours and to empty your cup every 6-12 hours. The diaphragm can be left in place for up to 24 hours after intercourse, and the cervical cap for up to 48 hours after intercourse. If you have any questions, please refer to the leaflet or to your physician.
How long does it take to change my cervical cap?
The cervical cap can be reused several times, simply wash it with mild soap and water before storing it until the next time it is used. It should be changed when you see that silicone is deteriorating, approximately every 12 to 24 months.
Can I use lubricant with the cap?
Yes, but only use water-based or silicone-based lubricant. Do not use oil-based lubricants, lotions, creams, etc., as they can alter the latex and thus reduce the effectiveness of the cervical cap and alter the balance of the vaginal flora.