The concept of a cervical cap inserted vaginally to prevent pregnancy went through many variations over its long history. In ancient times women used natural local resources, e.g half a scooped out pomegranate or lemon, to cover the cervix and attempt to block sperm. In the late 19th and early 20th century, the more modern medically designed cervical cap came into being. Advice on barrier contraceptives in the UK is available from your G.P. or the Family Planning Association (FPA). Midwives are always a great resource for barrier contraceptive advice as are private Gyno's and clinics.
The pre-cursor to the FemCap, diaphragms are available in 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90 and 95mm sizes. You should not guess your size as an incorrect size will increase the risk of an unwanted pregnancy.
If it's complicated to find a healthcare professional to fit you for a diaphragm then FemCap could be a good alternative which a woman can determine on her own.
How does the FemCap prevent pregnancy?
It's is simple concept with outstanding results. Place a silicone cap over the cervix to stop sperm from advancing to the uterus. Years of research went into designing the perfect cervical cap that would be comfortable, effective, and easy to use.
Why must I use spermicide or contraceptive gel with the FemCap?
The spermicide gel reinforces the physical barrier of the FemCap by increasing the suction effect onto the cervix. The extra spermicide placed in the brim of the cap adds a second layer of protection to increase effectiveness.
Will the spermicide irritate my skin?
Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) spermicide has been sold over the counter for many years with an excellent safety record. FemCap is designed with a groove and a brim to hold the spermicide away from your skin to minimize the chances of irritation. If you find chemical spermicide is irritating your skin, switch to a natural alternative such as ContraGel but NEVER use the FemCap without a gel.
ContraGel is a spermicide alternative that does not contain Nonoxynol 9 at all. The natural ingredients don't need the overkill of such powerful pharmaceuticals.
The FemCap is sealed because of the viscosity of the gel and the low pH immobilize the sperm, ensuring no live sperm pass the barrier and enter the cervix.
The 60 gram tube of ContraGel typically provides 15-20 applications. These numbers are based on the typical requirements of three to four ml applied to diaphragms and cervical caps for each act of intercourse. Additional ContraGel should be applied to the barrier with a finger or vaginal applicator if more then one act of intercourse occurs.
Could I experience side effects from using FemCap?
If used correctly, are no known local or systemic side effects associated with FemCap. Chemical spermicides often cause irritation however, so if you have a reaction, switch to a natural spermicide alternative such as ContraGel.
Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) is the most common active ingredient in spermicide. It is an organic compound that is used as a surfactant and is a member of nonoxynol family of nonionic surfactants. Cleaning and cosmetic products often contain N-9 and related compounds.
When N-9 is doing it's job right, it is breaking down the cell walls of the sperm, making them totally impotent. But it's breaking down more then just sperm cells. It also breaks down cells of the vagina wall and the penis leading to irritation. Even more, N-9 also kills beneficial bacteria and skin cells, disrupting the vaginal flora and leaving you susceptible to yeast infections and UTIs.
When researchers observed nonoxynol-9’s ability to kill microbes in vitro, they initially thought it could be used to prevent the transmission of sexual transmitted diseases (STDs). Recent research however, has found that N-9 might actually increase a person’s risk of contracting STDs, especially when frequently used.
In order to facilitate the safe and correct use of barriers and cervical caps a contraceptive gel must be used so for those who don't wish to use a Nonoxynol-9 based product two natural alternatives are available on the market.
Used safely for many years on prescription with the NHS, Gygel is also available Over The Counter (OTC).
The natural alternative to spermicide, ContraGel is a lactic acid based contraceptive gel which is vegan and natural.
Caya gel is basically ContraGel, repackaged with the branding of Caya to be supplied in conjunction with the Caya diaphragm.