A cervical cap is a silicone device that
acts as a contraceptive
through the barrier method. The shape of the device is like a tiny cup that
resembles a thimble and is fitted over the cervix area of the woman. It is
positioned into the part of the uterus that meets the upper portion of the
vagina. The cervical cap acts as a physical barrier to the sperm of the man and
does not allow it to reach the egg of the woman.
How Does Cervical Cap Work?
Have a quick look at the functioning of
cervical cap in preventing pregnancy.
Cervix is Covered - The cap
covers the cervix and thus keeps away the sperm. Some women prefer to put some
spermicide inside the cap for an added protection. This is of course done
before inserting the cap into the cervix.
Effectiveness Depends on Right Usage - The effectiveness of the cervical cap depends on how properly it
is used. Therefore, it is advisable that the woman practice the insertion and
removal of the cervical cap before she actually has the intercourse. This is
important as some women find it awkward and so practice is required to make
this barrier method of contraception effective.
Before insertion it is important the cap
is checked for even a minute tear or crack. Usually it is found that the cap
deteriorates after one year of regular usage.
Cap Should be Inserted on Time - The
woman is required to insert the cap at least fifteen minutes prior to having sex
and it can be kept in the cervix till up to forty-eight hours. After insertion,
the position must be checked again and every time the couple decides to have
intercourse, some spermicide can be added to it. It is important to keep the
cap in that position for at least six hours after the woman has intercourse.
Printed Instructions Should be Followed - Every cervical cap comes with the manufacturer’s instructions.
These instructions must be strictly followed. Even the removal of the cervical
cap requires a lot of practice. It has to be removed correctly. A finger has to
be placed inside the vagina
to pull it out. This entails that the woman must be comfortable in placing her
finger deep inside her vagina to pull it out.
Some Points to be Noted Regarding the Cervical Cap
You need to keep the following points in
mind when you choose to use cervical cap as a contraceptive.
time the cap is used, it must be washed with a solution of mild soap and
needs to be rinsed properly and air dried before placing it back into its
dust it with baby powder
like baby oil, mineral oil or petroleum jelly must never be used
these external substances reacts with the silicone in the cap making it
brittle leading to possible cracks
common vaginal cremes and medicines that are prescribed for preventing
yeast infections are also liable to cause damage to the cap.
Side effects of Cervical Cap
Most women do not experience any adverse
reaction due to the use of cervical caps. But a few likely side effects are:
spermicides used can cause irritation in the vagina and the adjacent area
the cap is not removed well in time, there can be vaginal discharge,
infection coupled with emission of strong unpleasant odours.
can be an allergic reaction in some women due to the silicone in the
persistent irritation in the cervix can lead to structural changes in the
or toxic shock syndrome is a rare medical complication
It is always advisable that the cervical
cap is used along with the male
condom in order to prevent pregnancy
as well as to protect the couple from sexual infections. It is also important
to ensure that the woman consults a medical practitioner before opting for the
cap as a contraceptive method as certain medical conditions or use of medicines
can make the use of the cap inappropriate.