How do I use it?
The Diaphragm, Cervical Cap, and Sponge are methods used with spermicide that you use every time you have sex to prevent pregnancy. They work by blocking sperm from entering the uterus. The Diaphragm and Cervical Cap are made of silicone and are placed inside of the vagina with spermicide at least 1 hour before sex and left in for at least 6 hours after sex. Do not leave them in for more than 24 hours. The Sponge is made of foam and continuously releases spermicide. It can be inserted up to 24 hours ahead of sex but should not be worn for more than 30 hours in a row.
How effective is it?
The Diaphragm is 83% effective at preventing pregnancy. The Sponge is 73% for those who have given birth before and 86% effective for those who have never given birth before. Efficacy rates for the Cervical Cap vary.
What I might like...
- You might like that these methods are hormone-free
- You can get the sponge at more convenience stores and pharmacies without a prescription
- Depending on the type you get, you can insert these methods between 2-24 hours ahead of sex
- These methods won't affect your milk supply if you are breastfeeding
What I might dislike...
- You have to use them every time you have sex
- You need some practice to use them right
- You might get an allergic reaction, bladder infection, or irritation from using the spermicide
- Diaphragms and the Cervical Cap must be fitted by a provider and require a prescription
- The Sponge and the Cervical Cap are less effective for people who have given birth before
- You won't be protected from STIs and may be at an increased risk of getting STIs such as HIV because of the spermicide