The FemCap works as a method of birth control by creating a physical barrier against sperm. It is a re-useable, FDA approved, non-hormonal, and latex-free birth control device. The small silicone cap fits over the cervix, creating a barrier that prevents sperm from entering the cervix and uterus. If combined with spermicidal gel placed on the outside rim of the cap, it is also a chemical barrier as well as a physical barrier to sperm, decreasing the chance of sperm entering the cervix and uterus. The FemCap also has a tab to aid in removal. FemCaps require a prescription in the United States.
Tips For Use
We suggest that you:
- Practice insertion and check to make sure the cap is covering the cervix.
- Check cap placement after intercourse the first few times to make sure it hasn't slipped off the cervix during intercourse. If this happens, you may need a different size cap.
- If your partner feels the cap during intercourse, you may want to try a different position.
The company that manufactures the FemCap recommends the use of spermicidal gel in conjunction with the FemCap. The FemCap should be inserted 40 hours or less before intercourse, and left in place 6 hours after intercourse.
It is important to remember that the cap must be left in place at least six hours from the last intercourse to allow sufficient time for all of the sperm to die before the cap is removed. Wash the cap with anti-bacterial soap, dry it, and return it to its container.
The range of effectiveness may be from 86% - 92%.
An early version of the FemCap was found to have an effectiveness rate of 86% for women who had never had a vaginal birth and 71% for women who had a vaginal birth. The manufacturers of FemCap made changes to the design of the cap to address the issues women were having with fit, placement, and removal. The new version of the cap is the version approved by the FDA. In a smaller follow up study, the effectiveness rate was 92%. The manufacturers of the FemCap claim that if their 7 requirements for perfect use are met, the effectiveness increases to 96-98%.To learn more about the effectiveness rate and use of the FemCap, see our FemCap information sheet.
- Possible allergies/sensitivity to silicone or spermicide
- Controlled by the woman
- Allows more spontaneity than diaphragms or condoms (e.g., can insert 40 hours before sex)
- Does not alter menstrual cycle