Like the diaphragm, the cervical cap is a reusable contraceptive inserted into the vagina to block sperm. It must be used with spermicide in order to be effective. After use, it must remain in the vagina for at least 6 hours to avoid accidental pregnancy.
Cervical caps can be reused up to a year after their first use when taken care of. They are available in most drug stores or in health centers with a doctor’s prescription.
This barrier method contraceptive is made out of sponge-like foam material that has spermicide. Like the diaphragm and the cervical cap, it is inserted into the vagina prior to intercourse. Although it is limited in terms of availability, you may have a chance to obtain them online in trusted stores.
The Importance of Spermicide in the Barrier Method
Spermicide is the chemical that helps stop sperm by decreasing its movement or motility. It does not kill the sperm. It is often used in tandem with barrier methods like the diaphragm, cervical cap, and the sponge.
There are a variety of spermicide options available, including:
Depending on the spermicide you use, how you insert them or apply them in tandem with other different contraceptives will differ. The foam, cream, and gel options can be inserted using an applicator while the rest can be inserted directly into the vagina using a finger.
A risk of using spermicide may be allergies to nonoxynol-9, an ingredient found in most spermicide chemicals. This allergy may cause the penis to develop sores and also ruin the vaginal lining, which may make it more likely to spread STIs and diseases to your partner.
How To Effectively Use Barrier Method Contraceptives
When you are at risk of any STI or just want to prevent pregnancy, you may want to consider combining the barrier methods with other birth control options like hormonal pills, patches, implants, and the like.
Emergency contraception is important if you think that the barrier method used during intercourse was not effective or was misplaced. You should talk to a healthcare provider if ever you need to go through extra steps in order to fully prevent pregnancy.