For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions and answers directed towards us by our customers.
Reading through the questions and answers and watching the instructional DVD below should give you a better idea of how to use FemCap.
Remember, these answers have been published for information and orientation purposes only and should not substitute the thorough reading of the manufacturer’s instructions.
How does FemCap work?
FemCap works by preventing sperm from entering the cervix. FemCap should be used with a small amount of spermicide or contraceptive gel in order to reinforce the mechanical barrier of FemCap with a chemical sperm-killing agent such as ContraGel. About 3 quarters of a teaspoon is all that is necessary.
What are the side effects associated with FemCap?
There are no known local or systemic side effects associated with FemCap.
Will my partner notice my FemCap?
FemCap caps the cervix, so it is unlikely that you or your partner will notice FemCap during intercourse. A very small percentage of couples, where the male has a large penis and the woman, a very low positioned cervix, may notice the FemCap. Note that FemCap sits higher up inside the woman than a diaphragm, so if a diaphragm user's partner did not notice the diaphragm, he will definitely not notice the FemCap.
Will the spermicide irritate my skin?
Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) spermicide has been sold over the counter for more than thirty years with an excellent safety record. Spermicide can cause irritation when used very frequently and in very high doses. If N-9 based spermicides cause too much irritation, there are natural alternatives available, such as ContraGel Green. Contragel Green can also be purchased on this website.
FemCap is designed with a unique groove facing the vagina in order minimize the irritation caused by spermicide. This groove stores the bulk of the spermicide and minimizes leakage. The storage of the bulk of spermicide in this groove ensures immediate and prolonged exposure of sperm to the spermicide as soon as it is deposited into the vagina.
Is FemCap user-friendly?
Yes, FemCap is very user-friendly. The average woman can learn how to insert and remove the FemCap in just a few minutes. During trials for FDA approval, the majority of users said they preferred it to the diaphragm.
How effective is FemCap?
The effectiveness of FemCap depends on the motivation and implimentation of the user and whether she uses the FemCap consistently and properly every time she has sex. For this reason, there is a wide range of effectiveness amongst users. One pregnancy occurred amongst 85 women who completed eight weeks of the study to test the second-generation FemCap. Due to the small number of participants and the relatively short duration of time, the confidence interval would be wide. Based on this study, the typical failure rate (Pearl index) of the second generation FemCap was estimated to be 7.6 per hundred women per year. It is estimated that FemCap would be able to achieve a much higher success rate if it was used properly and consistently. If used perfectly, it could achieve up to a 96%-98% success rate. This estimation is based on the fact that if emergency contraception (plan-B) is used alone, it would be 95% effective if used within 24 hours and 89% effective if used within 72 hours in preventing pregnancy.
The seven requirements for perfect use are:
- The woman must insert FemCap before having sex
- The woman should watch the instructional DVD (embedded below) carefully before using FemCap.
- A backup contraceptive method should be used during the learning phase (few days), such as a condom or finishing a pack of birth control pills.
- The FemCap must be inserted before any sexual arousal.
- For repeated intercourse, the woman should apply a small amount of spermicide on the tip of her finger, insert it deep into her vagina and check the position of the FemCap without removing it prior to each repeated intercourse within the span of 48 hours. The FemCap is designed to rotate to conform to the vaginal anatomy.
- The FemCap must be left in place at least six hours after the last act of intercourse.
- Emergency contraception should be taken ASAP if the woman did not use the FemCap at all or used it incorrectly.
Can I use FemCap during menstruation?
No, FemCap can not be used during menstruation because it would interfere with the natural flow of menstrual fluid. Furthermore, because you are not fertile during menstruation, contraception wouldn’t be needed to prevent pregnancy.
It should be remembered that intercourse only has the risk of pregnancy for approximately 6 days per cycle during your Fertility Window. A healthy egg is only fertilisable for 18-24 hours and sperm can't survive for more than 5 days inside a woman so that span of 6 days (5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation) is really the only time when barrier contraception needs to be used for pregnancy protection. Click here to learn more about identifying your Fertility Window for contraception
How do I clean FemCap between uses?
The FemCap should be washed thoroughly with antibacterial hand soap and rinsed with tap water, then dried and stored in its container. We recommend cleaning your FemCap with Pjur Clean Fleece sterile wipes prior to use. Even though you may store and clean your FemCap properly, over time physical contamination may occur. Exposing your FemCap to dampness can also encourage bacterial growth. Pjur Clean Fleece wipes are anti bacterial, anti viral and anti fungal which as well as being ideal for cleaning your FemCap, are ideal for cleaning your hands before insertion. Being silicone, FemCap can also be autoclaved for absolute sterilization.
How often should I replace my FemCap.
It is recommended that the FemCap be replaced every year or sooner if it shows any signs of deterioration.
Does the FemCap require measurement or fitting?
No, unlike diaphragms the fit of the FemCap is determined by obstetrical history of the woman. Therefore, women are able to order the FemCap without having to visit a doctor to get measured for size or to get a prescription.
Women who have never been pregnant will use the 22mm FemCap; women who miscarried, even after two week of pregnancy, or had caesarian section will use the 26mm; if in doubt it is safer to use the 26 mm FemCap. Women who have had a vaginal delivery will use the 30mm FemCap. Email us if you have any questions or concerns regarding your size.
Is sexual pleasure reduced when using FemCap?
No, FemCap does not reduce sexual pleasure to either partner because it must be inserted before any sexual arousal. The male partner may rarely be aware of its presence at all. FemCap actually increases sensual please compared to condoms which prohibit intimate contact. FemCap also sits higher up inside the vagina to cover the cervix where as the diaphragm is placed much lower to cover the entire space between the symphis pubis and the posterior fornix. This helps reduce any occurance of contact with the penis, which may happen with a diaphragm,
Does FemCap interrupt spontaneity?
No, FemCap does not interrupt spontaneity as long as it inserted according to the instructions before any sexual arousal.
How acceptable is FemCap?
The FemCap is highly accepted by women and their partners. In the clinical trials, seventy-five percent of women who have had prior experience with the diaphragm preferred the FemCap.
Is the cost of FemCap covered by health insurance?
Yes, if your health insurance covers birth control, then FemCap should be covered. Please consult your insurers for further information.
I have had intrauterine devices, a 380A Copper-T for two years before I had it removed (it was expelling) and I currently have another of the same model of IUD that will have to be removed soon for the same reason. So, my cervix has experienced dilation before, even though I am nulliparous. Would 22mm be suitable, or should I choose 26mm?
When you are in doubt regarding the FemCap size, you should use a larger size. Dr Shihata, FemCap Inc stated that the patient said she had lUD twice and her cervix was dilated, so the 26 mm FemCap would be a better fit.
I have had two c sections. The first I went into labour and fully dilated with no resulting baby, ended in csection. As I did fully dilate, should I use the large femcap instead of medium?
If you were fully dilated, then you should use the 30 mm FemCap.
I had a cone biopsy (conization) for abnormal cervical cell changes. Can I still use a FemCap?
Yes, a woman can use the FemCap after cone biopsy, as so long the procedure did not amputate the cervix.
In fact the FemCap will be protective to the cervix after cone biopsy.
I've never been pregnant and I've had both a mirena and a copper coil removed (I was allergic to the mirena). As part of the Hysteroscopy for my inter menstrual bleeding, I had the copper coil removed. Should I still use the smallest size?
Your cervix was dilated twice to insert the IUDs. To be on the safe side, a 26 mm FemCap would be more appropriate.
I'm 47, have never been pregnant and have been using a 75mm diaphragm. I have very small hips. Which size FemCap should I use?
Hip sizing and diaphragm sizing are not relevant. Not having been pregnant would make the 22mm size correct.
If I can still feel where to put it in after being aroused is this ok?
No, Once you are aroused it can be difficult to place correctly. It also means the FemCap can be displaced easily.
When I put it in and then get aroused I notice the muscles around the brim cover over it so I can only feel the removal strap.
This is completely normal
A couple of times after sex I have noticed that I can then feel one side of the brim. Does this mean it has come loose?
No, the FemCap is designed to rotate depending on the position of intercourse.
Does it always have to be covered with tissue/muscle to stop sperm getting in or is it ok to be able to feel the edge of the brim?
It stops the sperm either way.
Does it matter if the long brim turns around and is at the front? Also when I pull it out it turns inside out - is this ok?
This is normal, the FemCap is designed to rotate depending on the position of intercourse.
I have NEVER been pregnant but I have had an operation for removal of uterine polyps many years ago. They operated by dilating my cervix. What size FemCap should I wear?
26mm would be correct in your circumstances.
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