Note: Information provided on this page is for general education only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt
The Cervical cap is a form of barrier contraception that fits over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus through the external orifice of the uterus, called the OS.
The term cervical cap has been used to refer to a number of barrier contraceptives, including the Prentif, Dumas, Vimule, and Oves devices. They can be divided into two type’s viz. cavity rim caps, and other caps. Cavity rim caps adhere to the cervix, while other caps adhere to the vaginal walls around the cervix. The cavity rim caps are Prentif, made of latex, and the disposable cap Oves are made of silicone.
Individuals who wish to use a cervical cap are screened by a health care provider to determine if a cervical cap, or if one brand of cap, is appropriate for them. If a cap is determined to be appropriate, the provider will determine the proper size. The user must be refitted after any duration of pregnancy, whether the pregnancy is aborted, miscarried, or carried to term through vaginal childbirth or caesarean section.
Several factors may make a cap inappropriate for a particular woman. Women who have given birth may have scar tissue or irregularly shaped cervixes that interfere with the cap forming a good seal. For some women, available sizes of cervical caps do not provide a correct fit. Also, cavity rim caps are not recommended for women with an anteflexed uterus.
The first step in inserting or removing a cervical cap is washing hands and finger thoroughly to avoid introducing harmful bacteria into the vaginal canal. The cap is inserted prior to sexual intercourse or to be more precise prior to sexual arousal as the same decreases the risk of incorrect placement.
The cap remains in the vagina for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours after the last intravaginal ejaculation. It is recommended that the cap be removed within 48 to 72 hours. Other than the disposable Oves cap, after use cervical caps are washed and stored for reuse. Silicone devices may be boiled to sterilize them. Reusable caps may last for upto 1 year.