Cervical Cap (FemCap®)

WHAT IS IT?

A type of cervical cap is available called the FemCap. The FemCap is a non-hormonal, latex-free, contraceptive device. It is made of silicone rubber, a non-allergenic, durable material which is easy to clean.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The FemCap fits over the cervix and prevents sperm from entering the uterus.

It should be used with a small amount of 2% Nonoxynol-9 spermicide to increase its effectiveness. To minimize the irritation caused by spermicide, the FemCap is designed with a unique groove facing the vaginal opening. This groove stores the bulk of the spermicide and minimizes its leakage.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?

Like most forms of birth control, the overall effectiveness of the FemCap depends on whether it is used properly and consistently each time the user has sexual intercourse. The FemCap, in its current form, has only been available in North America since 2003, so research is limited on its effectiveness.

Based on the research that has been done, it is estimated that the FemCap is approximately 92% (average use) to 97% (perfect use) effective in preventing pregnancy.

HOW DO YOU USE THE FEMCAP?

If you choose to use the FemCap as your method of birth control, you will need to see a doctor to ensure the FemCap is a safe option for you based on your anatomy and medical history. The doctor will evaluate the size and position of your cervix. However, unlike the diaphragm, no measurement or fitting are needed for the FemCap. There are only 3 sizes:

Small for women who have never been pregnant
Medium for women who have had a miscarriage, abortion, or delivered by Cesarean section
Large for women who have had a vaginal delivery

The FemCap comes with an instructional DVD. You are encouraged to watch the DVD and practice insertion and removal on your own. After becoming comfortable with insertion and removal, it is recommended that you visit your doctor and ensure that the FemCap is placed properly over your cervix.

For further information and instructions on how to use the FemCap, please visit FemCap.com.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING THE FEMCAP?

ADVANTAGES:

  • it does not contain any hormones
  • it can be used by women who are breastfeeding
  • it offers women privacy and control because it can be inserted before intercourse

DISADVANTAGES:

  • must be used with spermicidal cream or jelly, which is no longer being made in Canada
  • it must be available at the time of intercourse
  • requires proper insertion technique
  • does not protect against sexually transmitted infections
  • cannot be used by people who are allergic or sensitive to spermicide
  • it cannot be used during menstruation