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Cervical Caps

Much like diaphragms, cervical caps cover your cervix to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus.

​Cervical caps are smaller than diaphragms and shaped differently. While you can leave a cervical cap in longer (up to 2 days), diaphragms are more effective in preventing pregnancy.​

Cervical caps do not protect against STIs. Condoms and dental dams are the only forms of contraception that can prevent STIs.

How to Use a Cervical Cap

Cervical caps must be used with spermicide to prevent pregnancy. Spermicide is a foam, gel, or cream that kills sperm.

Diagram of how to use an internal condom (Image Source: PRISM FL, Inc / Sarah Bruso)

  1. Apply 1/4 teaspoon of spermicide to the inside of the cup, as well as around the flat part of the brim.

  2. Apply 1/2 teaspoon of spermicide in the groove between the brim and the dome.

  3. Squeeze the rim of the cap with one hand.

  4. Insert the cervical cap into the vagina so that the side with the strap faces down.

  5. Push the cervical cap as far back as it will go.

  6. If you have sex more than once, apply more spermicide to the vagina without removing the cap.

  7. After sex, leave the cervical cap in for at least 6 hours.

  8. Push against the dome to release the suction.

  9. Hook your finger around the strap and pull the cap down and out.

Safety Practices

  • Do not use a cervical cap during your period.

  • A cervical cap can be inserted up to 6 hours before sex

  • Do not leave your cervical cap in for more than 48 hours, as this can cause side effects


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