Prescription onlyNo hormonesClass: Barrier

Cervical Cap

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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.

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  • 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.
What’s the failure rate?
of people using this method got pregnant in a year

This method is ranked 17 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.Source

More 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.
How it works

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.