How to Use Cervical Caps

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The cervical cap is a form of barrier contraception that fits snugly over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus through the external orifice of the uterus.  One of the  most popular types of cervical caps is Fempcap.  Femcap is made with medical grade silicon rubber, which is perfect for users who experience averse reactions to latex. As of February 2009, FemCap was the only type of cervical cap available in the United States.

In order to be most effective, FemCap must be used with spermicide, such as ContraGel Green.  FemCap must be inserted vaginally before sexual intercourse, so planning is necessary when using this form of birth control.  Because women are often unable to feel FemCap’s presence, they may forget to remove it and leave it in for over 48 hours.  To avoid this, women should use a calendar to monitor insertion and removal.  After each use, FemCap should be washed thoroughly with antibacterial hand soap and rinsed with tap water, then dried and stored in its container.  You should replace your FemCap every year or sooner if it shows any signs of deterioration.  A woman should not use FemCap if she has an infection in her vagina, cervix, or pelvic area or a cut or tear in her vagina or cervix.  

FemCap is available in three different sizes: 22mm, 26mm, 30mm. The size is determined by the rim’s diameter. The smallest rim diameter (22mm) is intended for women who have never been pregnant.  The medium (26mm) cap is intended for women who have been pregnant but have not had a vaginal delivery.  The largest (30mm) is intended for women who have had a vaginal delivery of a full-term baby.  The only exception to these sizing criteria is if a woman had a spontaneous miscarriage and/or she was not aware of it.  In that case, she would need the 26mm FemCap. If the woman and her doctor are unsure, they should use the 26mm FemCap to be safe.

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