Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

What is the difference between a cervical cap and a diaphragm?

The cervical cap and the diaphragm are both forms of prescription birth control. They are both used with spermicide to help prevent pregnancy. Neither of them protects you from sexually transmitted infections.

The diaphragm

  • is a shallow latex cup
  • is 84-94 percent effective against pregnancy
  • can be used for up to 24 hours

The cap

  • is a silicone cup shaped like a sailor’s hat.
  • is about 71 percent effective for women who have given birth vaginally, and 86 percent effective for women who have never been pregnant or given birth vaginally.
  • can be used for up to 48 hours

The diaphragm and cervical cap are fitted differently. The diaphragm covers the cervix and the area around it. The cap fits more snugly on the cervix itself.

Either the FemCap or diaphragm can be a good choice for some teens because these methods don’t use hormones and they can be used only when a teen chooses to have intercourse. If you’re interested in the cap or the diaphragm, talk to your health care provider, or make an appointment with the Planned Parenthood health center nearest you.

Tags: diaphragm, cervical cap, birth control