Birth Control Guide - Diaphragm or Cervical Cap


What is Diaphragm or Cervical Cap?

A diaphragm is a round piece of thin latex rubber surrounded by a firm rim. A cervical cap is a small latex rubber dome with a firm rim. Both must be used with jelly that kills sperm (spermicide). Both are put into the vagina before you have intercourse. They cover the cervix (the end of the uterus that juts out into the vagina).

Birth Control Guide - Diaphragm or Cervical Cap

The muscles of your vagina hold the diaphragm in place. The cervical cap stays in place on your cervix by suction. A diaphragm or cervical cap AND spermicide work well together to stop the sperm from meeting the egg. The spermicide kills the sperm and the diaphragm or cap stop the sperm from getting into the uterus.

How well does Diaphragm or Cervical Cap work?

  • A diaphragm or cervical cap must be fitted to your body. You must use it every time you have intercourse.
  • The diaphragm or cervical cap works well when it is used correctly and when it is used every time you have intercourse.
  • A diaphragm or cervical cap will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You and your partner should use a condom.

How is Diaphragm or Cervical Cap used?

A diaphragm or cervical cap must be fitted by a doctor or nurse. They can also show you how to put it in and take it out. To be sure that your diaphragm or cervical cap fits correctly, your doctor should check it at least once every two years, if you gain or lose 5 kg (11 pounds), and after each pregnancy.

The diaphragm or cervical cap must be used with a jelly or cream that kills sperm (spermicide). It must be put into your vagina before every act of intercourse. It must be left in place for 6 to 8 hours after having sex. If you have intercourse more than once, you need to put more cream or jelly (spermicide) into your vagina.

A diaphragm or cervical cap must be cleaned with soap and water after each use. You should hold it up to the light to see if there are any holes or if it has torn. You should not use Vaseline™, as it may damage the rubber.

Are there any side effects of Diaphragm or Cervical Cap?

If they are used correctly, diaphragms and cervical caps have no side effects. They can be uncomfortable if they are not put in place correctly. Some people are allergic to latex, or to the spermicidal jelly or cream. Some women may have bladder infections when they use a diaphragm or cervical cap.

Will Diaphragm or Cervical Cap affect our sex life?

When they are in the right place, a diaphragm or cervical cap cannot be felt by either partner.

How can I get Diaphragm or Cervical Cap?


You must go to your doctor who will tell you what size you need. The doctor will give you a prescription that you must take to a drug store. Have a pap test done as recommended by your doctor or nurse practitioner.
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