FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Sometimes people are too embarrassed, too busy, or just don’t know the right questions. The questions on this page should cover a lot of aspects of what you need to know though.

CERVICAL CAP

What happens if I accidentally swallow some spermicide?

Most spermicides have an unpleasant taste but will not usually harm you or make you feel ill, however it is advisable to avoid swallowing excessive amounts. If you are concerned about feeling ill following swallowing some spermicide, you should seek the advice of a healthcare provider.

How is a cervical cap fitted?

The cervical cap comes in different size, ranging from 22 to 26 mm. A pelvic examination by your doctor or healthcare provider will determine which size you need based on your obstetrical history e.g. women who never have been pregnant will use a smaller size than women who have had delivered a baby. Smaller or larger sizes are then inserted until the correct fit is achieved. It should fit snugly into the upper half of the vagina. The woman should practice insertion under supervision and placement should be inspected to ensure that the fitting ring is correctly positioned in the vagina. The cervical cap may require resizing following a full-term pregnancy, pelvic surgery, or abortion, or if there is a major change in weight. It is recommended that the cervical cap gets replaced every year or even sooner if it shows any signs of deterioration.

How does a spermicide work?

Spermicides contain substances that kill sperm. Some products also form a thick foam or mucus which blocks the cervix and acts as a barrier against the sperm. They can come in the form of foam, foaming tablets, pessaries, creams, jellies and sponges. Spermicides are not effective enough when used alone, and should be used in combination with barrier methods such as the diaphragm or cap.

Can the cervical cap be used during menstruation?

No, the cervical cap cannot be used during menstruation, as it would impede the natural flow of menstrual bleeding. To be protected against unintended pregancies during that period in time, you must use another contraceptive method, such as condoms, until your menstruation is finished.

Can a cervical cap get lost or stuck inside my body?

There is no reason for the cervical cap to get lost or stuck inside your body. It will be specifically fitted by a healthcare provider to ensure it fits and can be used effectively by you. The cervical cap should also be checked frequently by a healthcare provider to make sure it still fits properly.

Do I remove the cervical cap immediately after sex?

A cervical cap should be removed no sooner than 6 hours after intercourse and can be left in place for up to 48 hours after intercourse. Additional spermicide is required with subsequent acts of intercourse. If more spermicide is required it should be placed in the vagina and the cervical cap should be left in place.

What happens if I want to have sex spontaneously?

The cervical cap can be inserted immediately before or up to 40 hours before intercourse. Some people do find that this might interfere with spontaneity.

Why should the cervical cap not be worn for longer than 48 hours without interruption?

Wearing the diaphragm for longer than 48 hours without interruption can promote bacterial growth inside the vagina. These bacteria can lead to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Toxic shock is a rare but serious infection.

What should I do if I forget to remove the cervical cap after 48 hours have passed?

Remove the cervical cap and visit your doctor or healthcare provider for a medical examination.

Can I have repeated intercourse with the cervical cap?

Yes, your cervical cap will remain in position, but you will have to apply more spermicide every time you have intercourse.

Could my partner feel the cervical cap?

This is unlikely. However, some partners may feel the rim or handle, of the cervical cap.

What should I do if the cervical cap accidentally comes out during intercourse?

Re-insert the cervical again after applying some more spermicides. If the cervical cap comes out after your partner has ejaculated or if you do not feel safe, visit your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss whether you may need the emergency contraception to avoid an unintended pregnancy.

Will the cervical cap affect my menstrual cycle?

The cervical cap is a hormone free vaginal contraceptive that does not disrupt your menstrual cycle.

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