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The cervical cap is a small, thimble-shaped cup made of silicone that is inserted into the vagina to prevent pregnancy. Placed over the cervix, the cap prevents sperm from entering the uterus by covering the uterus. For additional preventative measure, spermicide is often added into the cup before its insertion. The cap can be placed in up to 6 hours before having sex and must be left in for at least six hours, but cannot be worn for more than 48 hours. The cervical cap can be washed with mild soap after use.
The cervical cap does not prevent STIs. Sometimes, irritation may occur due to the spermicides. Since the cap must be inserted each time before sex, it is only recommended for women who are comfortable reaching into the vagina to place it on top of the cervix. A doctor must fit a woman for the cap. The only cervical cap available in the United States is the FemCap. Generally, the cervical cap is not as effective with women who have already undergone childbirth. The cap is often not recommended to young women since it is often difficult to insert. It is also possible to knock the cap out of position during intercourse.