A small silicone cup that prevents pregnancy.
Our bottom line
The cervical cap is easy to use but not great at preventing pregnancy on its own. It's most effective (and recommended) when used with a spermicide, which can be irritating and messy.
- Can be inserted right before sex, or up to 6 hours beforehand (won't interrupt the heat of the moment!).
- Doesn't contain hormones, which is better for some women.
- Usually inexpensive, and can be used for up to 2 years.
- Can be left in for 48 hours – and you can have sex as many times as you want in that time frame.
- Getting one is easy after a fitting – you can pick it up at a pharmacy or order online and have it delivered.
This method is ranked 17 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.SourceMore birth control methods
- Requires a visit with a gynocologist for an examination and fitting.
- Not recommended for use during your period – best to use another method of birth control around this time.
- Might take some practice to insert and remove it correctly.
- Best when used with a spermicide, which can irritate some women's vaginas or cause urinary tract infections.
- Must be left inside the vagina for 6 hours after sex in order for it to work.
- Less effective for women who've already given birth.
- Doesn't protect against STDs.
The cervical cap is a small piece of silicon that works by "capping" or covering a woman's cervix and keeping sperm from getting to an egg. When used with a spermicide, the spermicide kills sperm, reducing the chances of becoming pregnant.