When used with spermicide, the cervical cap helps prevent pregnancy. Among various benefits, the cervical cap:

  • Allows prompt return to fertility
  • Can be used while breast-feeding beginning six weeks after delivery
  • Can be inserted hours before sex and remain in place for up to 48 hours
  • Doesn't require a partner's cooperation
  • Poses few if any side effects

The cervical cap isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage use of the cervical cap if you:

  • Are allergic to spermicide or silicone
  • Are at high risk of or have HIV/AIDS
  • Are at high risk of pregnancy — you're younger than age 30, you have sex three or more times a week, you've had previous contraceptive failure with vaginal barrier methods or you're not likely to consistently use the cervical cap
  • Have vaginal or cervical abnormalities that interfere with the fit, placement or retention of the cervical cap
  • Have vaginal bleeding or a vaginal, cervical or pelvic infection
  • Have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, toxic shock syndrome, cervical cancer, third-degree uterine prolapse, uterine tract infections, or vaginal or cervical tissue tears
  • Recently gave birth or had a miscarriage or an abortion
  • Recently had cervical surgery
Jan. 21, 2012