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It's really important to use your cervical cap correctly — every time you have sex. Here's how you can get maximum effectiveness from your cervical cap.

How effective are cervical caps?

The cervical cap is a lot more effective if you've never given birth.

For people who’ve never given birth, the cervical cap is 86% effective — that means that out of 100 people who use the cap, about 14 of them will get pregnant within a year.

For people who have given birth, the cervical cap is 71% effective — that means that out of 100 people who use the cap, about 29 of them will get pregnant within a year.

Like all birth control methods, the cervical cap is most effective when you use it correctly every time you have sex. If you don’t always follow the directions or use your cervical cap every single time you have sex, it won’t work as well.

Want an even more effective form of birth control? Check out IUDs and implants. They’re the most effective kinds of birth control.

How can I make my cervical cap more effective?

There are several ways to increase your effectiveness when using your cervical cap:

  • Use your cervical cap EVERY time you have sex.

  • Use spermicide with your cervical cap, and add more spermicide if you have sex again before taking out your cervical cap.

  • Put your cervical cap in before you start having sex, ideally before you feel aroused.

  • Make sure the cervical cap is covering your cervix. (Here’s how to use a cervical cap).

  • Use another method of birth control along with your cervical cap. Your partner can pull out before ejaculating (withdrawal), or wear a condom. Bonus: Condoms also help protect you and your partner from sexually transmitted infections.

  • Always leave your cervical cap in place for at least 6 hours after the last time you had sex.

Does a cervical cap protect me from STDs?

Cervical caps don’t protect against sexually transmitted infections — but luckily, condoms do. If you have vaginal, anal, or oral sex, using condoms every time (plus getting tested for STDs regularly) are the best ways to stay healthy.

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Cervical Cap

  • 71-86% effective

  • Costs up to $90, but can be $0

  • Prescription required

  • Put it in before sex

Cervical caps don’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with your cervical cap to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
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