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Welcome to the comprehensive medical library of Joseph N. O’Donnell. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

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Birth Control: Diaphragm and Cervical CapControl de la natalidad: El diafragma y el capuch³n cervical

Birth Control: Diaphragm and Cervical Cap


The diaphragm and the cervical cap protect against pregnancy by covering the cervix. They keep sperm from entering the uterus to meet the egg.

Pregnancy Rates

Talk to your healthcare provider about the effectiveness of this birth control method.

Using the Diaphragm or Cervical Cap

  • These devices must be prescribed and fitted by a healthcare professional. You will be instructed on how to insert them.

  • These devices must be used with spermicides.

  • Both devices can be inserted up to 2 hours before sex.

  • The diaphragm can be left in place for up to 24 hours, the cervical cap for up to 48 hours.


  • Provides birth control right away.

  • Can be inserted ahead of time.

  • Easy to stop if you decide you want to become pregnant.

  • May protect against certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), but not HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.


  • Requires planning ahead.

  • May be hard for some women to insert.

  • May increase risk of urinary tract infection (UTI) or toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

  • Must be left in place for 6 to 8 hours after sex.

  • Cervical cap can't be used during your period.

  • Cervical cap is significantly less effective for a woman who has given birth.

The diaphragm or cervical cap may not be for you if...

  • You're allergic to all spermicides.

  • You can't reach your cervix or insert the device correctly.

  • You are not willing to plan ahead or to interrupt sex to use it.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2009-03-30T00:00:00-06:00

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