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Understanding The Contraceptive Cap: The Advantages and Disadvantages

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As a healthcare practitioner providing contraception advice to female patients, you will need to talk to your patients about a contraceptive option called the diaphragm or cap.

You can explain that a diaphragm or cap is a small, dome-shaped device that fits over the cervix, the opening to the uterus. It is made of soft silicone or latex and is inserted into the vagina before sex, and the diaphragm or cap prevents sperm from entering the uterus and fertilising an egg.

Diaphragms and caps are barrier methods of contraception, which means they work by physically blocking sperm from reaching the egg. They are also reversible, so you can tell your patient they can stop using them whenever they want to become pregnant.

To use a diaphragm or cap, your patient will need to:

Advantages of using a diaphragm

You can explain to your patient that diaphragms and caps have several advantages over other forms of contraception, including the following:

Disadvantages of using a diaphragm

However, it would help if you also made her aware that diaphragms and caps also have some disadvantages. They require some skill, and it may take a bit of practice for her to ensure it is fitted correctly. She may need time to learn how to easily insert and remove a diaphragm or cap and feel confident using one.

Some other disadvantages she must be made aware of can include:

If your patient is considering using a diaphragm or cap, she should be encouraged to talk to her healthcare provider to decide if a diaphragm or cap is the right contraceptive option for her.

PDUK provides professional training courses for healthcare practitioners such as nurses, clinicians and allied healthcare workers. We highly recommend two training courses in contraception and gynaecological core skills.

A142 Modern contraception: an update for health care professionals

This one-day course is tailored for healthcare clinicians aiming to enhance their understanding of various contraceptive methods. The curriculum is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of contraceptive choices, their practical applications in diverse clinical scenarios, and the associated legal and ethical considerations.

The day will cover the following topics:

A80 Gynae core skills for first contact practitioners: Online

This interactive one-day course is designed for primary care practitioners involved in managing and referring women presenting with gynaecological issues.

The course will cover the following topics: