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Health Information For Parents
A cervical cap is a small cup made of silicone that fits over the cervix (the part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). It covers the cervix so sperm can’t get in and fertilize an egg.
The cervical cap keeps sperm from entering the uterus by covering the cervix. For added protection, spermicide is put into the cap before inserting the cap snugly over the cervix.
The cap can be put in several hours before having sex, and must be left in at least 6 hours after sex. The cap should not stay in longer than 24 hours after sex, or for more than a total of 48 hours. While the cap is in place, its position should be checked and spermicide should be added every time a couple has sex.
Over the course of a year, 14 out of 100 typical couples who use a cervical cap will have an accidental pregnancy. For women who have had a baby, the cervical cap is less effective: about 29 out of 100 of typical couples who use the cervical cap after the woman has had a baby will have an accidental pregnancy.
How well the cervical cap works depends on whether the person remembers to use it correctly every time.
In order for the cap to work, it also needs to be cared for appropriately. After each use, the cap must be washed with mild soap and water, rinsed, and air dried, then stored in its case. Baby powder and oil-based lubricants (such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, or baby oil) should not be put on the cap. Other vaginal creams, such as medicines for yeast infection, can also damage the cap.
No. The cervical cap does not protect against STDs. Couples having sex must always use condoms along with the cervical cap to protect against these infections.
Abstinence (not having sex) is the only method that always prevents pregnancy and STDs.
Most people who use the cervical cap have no problems, but possible side effects may include:
The cervical cap is not usually recommended for most young women and teens because it can be very hard to insert correctly. Inserting and removing a cervical cap requires a girl to reach into her vagina to the cervix with her fingers. It can sometimes also be knocked out of place during intercourse, which can result in pregnancy. The cervical cap cannot be used when a girl has her period. It is not recommended for those with some medical conditions.
Some girls prefer the diaphragm, which works like the cervical cap but is much easier to use.
A doctor or nurse practitioner must fit a girl for a cervical cap. The doctor or nurse will find the right size and teach her how to insert and remove the cap.
A cervical cap can cost anywhere from $0 to about $275 for the cap and the office visit. A cervical cap should be replaced every year. Many health insurance plans cover these costs, and family planning clinics (such as Planned Parenthood) may charge less. In addition, the cost of spermicide is about $0.50 to $1.50 per use.
Someone with a cervical cap should call the doctor if she:
Talking to your kids about sex can be a challenge. But discussing issues like birth control can help lower teens’ risk of unintended pregnancy or getting an STD.
Answering kids’ questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.
Big physical and emotional changes happen during puberty and the teen years. These articles can help you become a source of information, comfort, and support for your kids.
The idea of going to the gynecologist may make your daughter feel nervous. Here’s how to make her feel more comfortable about a well-woman visit.
Parents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they’re diagnosed and treated.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Condoms are thin pouches that keep sperm from getting into the vagina. There are male condoms and female condoms.
Abstinence is the only form of birth control that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Abstinence also protects people against STDs.
Girls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit — and why most girls don’t get internal exams.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article about the cervical cap to find out if it’s right for you and how well it works.
Condoms may be a good birth control option for couples who are responsible enough to use one each time and people who want protection against STDs.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Learn more about the IUD and to find out how well it works for teens.
Your best resource for health information and advice is your doctor – the person who knows you, your medical history, and accurate medical information to answer your questions.
Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work.
You’ve probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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