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Health Information For Teens
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 woman uses it correctly every time.
The cap also needs to be cared for. After each use, the cap must be washed (with mild soap and water), rinsed, and air dried, then stored in its case. Don’t put baby powder or oil-based lubricants (such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, or baby oil)on the cap. Other vaginal creams, such as medicines for yeast infection, also can 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 girls 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 lead to 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
must fit a girl for a cervical cap. The doctor or NP will find the right size cap and teach her how to insert and remove it.
Costs can range 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. Also, the cost of spermicide is about $0.50 to $1.50 per use.
If you have a cervical cap, call the doctor if you:
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
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.
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.
Why do girls get periods? What goes on when a woman gets pregnant? What can go wrong with the female reproductive system? Find the answers to these questions and more in this article for teens.
Emergency contraception is a way to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex; for example, if a condom breaks or slips off during sex. It is also available to teens who are forced to have unprotected sex.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to learn what birth control pills are, how well they work, and more.
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. A diaphragm may be a birth control good option for a young woman who can take responsibility in advance.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Some people – even those who are having sex – are embarrassed by the topic of condoms. Here are some tips for talking about condoms with your partner.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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