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Author Topic: The Femcap
Magic's in the Makeup
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Hi everyone,

I would like to get a Femcap because they don't sell diaphragms here anymore.

What are your experiences with cervical caps? Are they easy to use? I would be using it in addition to condoms.

This is a quote from the website:
quote:
It's also washable and reusable for up to a year.
Why is it only reusable for up to a year? They're pretty expensive ($120 at the clinic).

Do they last longer if you don't have sex that often?

P.S. is contraceptive gel necessary? Does it contain the same ingredients as spermicide?

And...wouldn't that little handle be uncomfortable and hard for his penis?
http://www.pamf.org/images/teen/birthcontrol/229_femcap.jpg

[ 11-22-2010, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: Magic's in the Makeup ]

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Heather
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Have you checked that you can? last I looked, they'd gone out of business. [Frown]

I don't know why they're only reusable for a year, but I'd assume it has something to do with the material they are made out of. Not knowing the why of their one-year limit -- email the company? -- I can't say if more or less frequent sex would make a difference, but I'd assume so.

Per contraceptive gel, yes, that's spermicide, and some kind of spermicide does need to be used with cervical barriers. They can be used without, but the effectiveness then dips much lower.

Per partner discomfort, when you're very aroused, the back of your vagina tents and your cervix pulls back considerably. So, unless you're having intercourse when you're not very aroused -- which isn't likely to feel very good for you -- then it's unlikely your partner's penis will have any noticeable contact with a cervical barrier. All the same, cervical barriers and pretty pliable and flexible, not hard plastic.

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Magic's in the Makeup
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Awesome! Thank you Heather. And yes, the clinic says that they don't sell diaphragms anymore but do sell Femcaps.

Hmmm...I haven't heard many good things about spermicide. I will have to keep looking around... I am looking for a non-hormonal birth control but I know that you have to get diaphragms fitted.

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Heather
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Well, do you want to talk out your concerns about spermicide? Really, the only usual issue is allergies: some people are allergic or sensitive to it. You could find out if you're one of those folks just by trying some by itself from the pharmacy to see before you committed to a barrier method.

Do you also want to talk about all your non-hormonal options? because cervical barriers, you've also got condoms, IUDs and a couple other methods not so effective on their own, but which can be when combined with another method.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Magic's in the Makeup
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I believe that I am one of those individuals who is allergic/sensitive to spermicide...based on past experiences.

I also have heard about STI risks linked to the ingredient Nonoxynol-9.

But yes, I would appreciate having a chat about other non-hormonal options [Smile]

My clinic offers the following:
condoms
fem cap
cervical caps
iud
sponge

Oh and I just read that if you get a diaphragm somewhere else they will do a fitting...

[ 11-22-2010, 06:06 PM: Message edited by: Magic's in the Makeup ]

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Magic's in the Makeup
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P.S. --- Just searching about Divacups as well, and came upon this mistake:

quote:
The Divacup (and others like it, like the Keeper or Mooncup) is a medical-grade silicone cup designed for long-term reuse. Reusable cups like the Divacup or Keeper come in two sizes: one for women who have not given birth, and another for women who have not.
Hehe, what about the size for women who have?

http://www.scarleteen.com/article/body/what_are_menstrual_cups

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Karybu
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(Thanks for the heads-up! Just edited it. [Smile] )

Have you had a look at the info for non-hormonal methods on our Birth Control Bingo! page? That might be the best place to start.

However, if you're concerned about using spermicide, any kind of cervical barrier (diaphragm, cervical cap, etc) is not likely to be a good choice, because those methods are most effective when paired with spermicide. The sponge also contains spermicide.

Have a look through those pages though, and then come on back and we can talk some more. [Smile]

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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Magic's in the Makeup
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Just had a read. So I guess none of the options work except for the IUD (and condoms) then? [Frown]

Hmm, so the cervical barriers + non-latex condoms would still not be as effective as if the barrier was used with spermicide?

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Heather
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No, they would not be. They'd not be at zero, but it'd be a bit of a question mark. The few studies I've read on barriers without spermicides used with them have tended to suggest around a 10% difference in effectiveness. Personally, with a method like a cervical barrier where effectiveness is already lower than with many other methods, I'd start to have a hard time seeing the point.

(FYI, I used cervical barriers with condoms for many, many years, but did use spermicides.)

IUDs are incredibly effective -- about the most effective method we've got -- and really cost-efficient, too. have you talked to your provider about those? Sounds like they might be a good option for you to explore if you know you can't use cervical barriers as directed.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Magic's in the Makeup
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Okay, great thank you so much Heather. I'll go in to the clinic to talk to my doctor about the non-hormonal IUD.

[ 11-22-2010, 07:26 PM: Message edited by: Magic's in the Makeup ]

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Heather
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Happy to help!

(Seriously, contraceptive consults are my favorite. They make me feel like the birth control detective!)

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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