What are diaphragms and cervical caps?

The diaphragm is a soft silicone cup with a flexible ring that’s worn inside the vagina covering the cervix (the opening of the uterus). The cervical cap is like the diaphragm, but smaller. It is also worn over the cervix. Both barrier methods block the sperm from getting to the egg. They are always used with spermicide and both come in different sizes.

Who uses diaphragms and cervical caps?

People who don’t want to use hormonal methods of birth control and who are comfortable placing something inside their vaginas (like a tampon).

How do I use diaphragms and cervical caps?

Both the diaphragm and cap work the same way. Either one must be filled with spermicide and then placed into the vagina up to 6 hours before having sex.  It must be left in at least 6 to 8 hours after intercourse. Both diaphragms and caps can be washed and reused for several years. They should never be shared.

Where do I get diaphragms and cervical caps?

You can get fitted for a diaphragm or cervical cap by making an appointment at your local family planning clinic.

How effective are diaphragms and cervical caps?

Diaphragms and cervical caps are 84-94% effective. The risk of pregnancy doubles if they are not used correctly.

Do diaphragms and cervical caps protect against STDs?

No. We recommend using condoms for STD protection with this method.



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