What is Birth Cervical Cap?
The birth cervical cap is a birth controlling method. Made up of rubber, it is shaped like a sailor’s hat. It has to be inserted into vagina to fit tightly over the uterus’ (the cervix) opening. The cervical cap prevents pregnancy by stopping the sperm from joining an egg. For effective contraception, cervical cap must be used with spermicide cream or jelly. The cap performs two functions, which includes blocking the opening of the uterus and preventing the entry of sperm with the help of spermicide.
For increasing the effectiveness of cap, leave it in its place for 6 hours after intercourse. Do not leave it for more than 48 hours. Before having intercourse for the second time while the cap is in place, more spermicide needs to be inserted. To insert spermicide, put it on your finger and insert your finger into your vagina to reach the cap. For proper placement of spermicide, make sure the cap is still in the right place.
Effectiveness of Cervical Cap
Birth cervical cap is more effective for women, who have never given birth than others. The risk of failure of cervical cap depends on factors such as if woman has given vaginal birth, proper placement of the cap and use of right spermicide. Every year 29 out of 100 women, who have given vaginal birth, get pregnant even after using cervical caps. The ratio is 14 out of 100 women, who have never conceived or given vaginal birth. For ensuring the effectiveness of cervical cap, check if it properly covers the cervix before sexual intercourse. Use of latex condom by your partner or ejaculation outside your vagina will also increase cap’s efficacy.
Do not use birth cervical caps in the following situations:
- If spermicide is allergic to you.
- Have given birth in recent 2-3 months.
- Have cuts in vaginal or cervical tissue.
- Cancer in uterus, vagina and vulva.
- Any other problem in genitals.
- Difficulty in insertion of cervical caps.
- Poor vaginal muscle tone.
- Reproductive tract infection.
- Recent abortion.
- Recent surgery of your cervix.
Benefits of Cervical Cap
- Can be easily carried in pocket or handbag.
- Highly effective and reversible.
- Can be used by breastfeeding women.
- Does not affect natural hormones of a woman.
- Cannot be felt by any of the partner during sex.
- Can be inserted up to six hours ahead of time i.e. there must be no interruption in sex.
Disadvantages of Cervical Cap
- No protection against STDs.
- Cannot be used during menstrual cycles.
- Some women find difficulty in insertion.
- Can move from its place due to some sex positions, penis size or excessive thrusting.
- After pregnancy, it needs to be replaced by a larger cap.
- Must be at the right place while having intercourse.
With proper care, a cervical cap can be used for two years. Check the cap regularly for any cut, hole or scratch. After sometime, Cervical cap may be discoloured, but you can use such cap.
Read more articles on Contraception.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Mar 28, 2012
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