What is FemCap?
FemCap is an FDA-approved, non-hormonal contraceptive cervical device. Shaped like a sailor’s hat, FemCap is designed to remain in place during sexual activity to prevent sperm from entering the cervix.
This is a short video which describes FemCap design and use.
(Please note: the description video includes an audio commentary that may not be appropriate for public locations.)
To learn more about FemCap you can:
- Visit FemCap resource directory, which contains links to articles and publications about FemCap
- View a 7-minute video demonstrating the use of FemCap (video is available in English, Spanish,German, Italian and Swedish)
(Please note: the instructional video contains audio commentary and images that may not be appropriate for public locations.)
How do I use FemCap? How easy is it to use?
A woman inserts FemCap like a tampon and places it over her cervix prior to sexual activity. The FemCap can be applied 15 minutes – 40 hours prior to intercourse. It must remain inserted for at least 6 hours after intercourse (so that sperm dies and can not penetrate cervix during removal); however, must be removed 24 hours after intercourse. Detailed usage instructions are included with every purchase.
FemCap is easy to use. The average woman can learn how to insert and remove FemCap in a few minutes, and master its use in a few days. With practice, insertion can be as easy as putting in a tampon.
FemCap instructional videos in a variety of languages can be found by visiting this page.
For easy removal, FemCap has been designed with a convenient removal strap. However, in order, to make the removal process even easier, you may choose to tie a cotton ribbon loop to the removal strap, as show in image below.
How long can FemCap stay in?
FemCap can remain in place up to 48 hours.
How effective is FemCap?
In clinical trials, the effective rate of the second generation FemCap (the only cervical cap approved by the FDA) has been proven to be over 92% successful in preventing pregnancy. Only one pregnancy occurred among the 85 women who completed eight weeks of the study to test the second-generation FemCap. Based on this study, the typical failure rate of the second-generation FemCap was estimated to be 7.6 per hundred women per year.
However, It is estimated that FemCap’s success rate may be up to 98% with proper use (e.g. not forgotten, correct placement, not removed too soon). In addition, if you would like to increase the effective rate, either spermicide or emergency contraception (available over-the-counter without prescription) can be used as a backup. However, use or spermicide or emergency contraception is NOT required while using the FemCap.
For more information on the effectiveness of FemCap, please visit the following resources:
What is the history of improvement of FemCap ?
While woman-controlled barrier contraceptive cervical devices are the safest, and provide a viable alternative to the condom; they are rarely used due to the lack of options. Therefore we developed FemCap to increase choices of female-controlled contraceptives.
The earliest version of FemCap (with no removal strap) was clinically tested in 1988; the preliminary clinical trial was published in 1991 and co-authored by James Trussell, Ph.D of
The pivotal clinical trials were also conducted with this earlier version of FemCap in ten universities in United States from 1995-1997.
Based on this study the FDA approved this earlier version of FemCap to be safe and effective for use by women of childbearing age to prevent or postpone pregnancy. Despite the fact that this earlier version of FemCap was proven to be safe and effective in the pivotal clinical trials, we have learned that this first-generation device had two drawbacks.
First, poor effectiveness rate of specifically the large 30 mm FemCap that is designed for women who delivered vaginally due to frequent dislodgement, and Second difficulty with the removal of FemCap.
- To compensate for the poor vaginal tone in women who delivered vaginally, FemCap Inc. increased the dimensions of the brim (pointed by the arrows) on the large 30 mm FemCap. This increased the surface area of contact between the brim and the vagina. This also increased the stability and minimized dislodgment, thus enhancing effectiveness of FemCap in women who delivered vaginally.
- Added a strap over the dome of FemCap to facilitate removal.
Second Generation FemCap
The second generation FemCap with the removal strap is the only device approved by the FDA for marketing.
To further enhance the effectiveness of FemCap the FDA:
- Strongly advised women to insert FemCap prior to sexual arousal, every time to ensure correct placement over the cervix.
- Recommended that women may use a back up method during the learning phase of FemCap.
- To use Emergency contraception as a back-up method if needed, in case the woman has not used FemCap or used incorrectly.
- Use the instructional video to supplement the verbal and the written instruction.
The Second generation FemCap with the removal strap is the only device approved in European countries in July 1999 and by the FDA in March 2003 for marketing. FemCap has not withdrawn from any market for any reason.
What are the side effects of FemCap?
FemCap is a hormone-free contraceptive cervical device. FDA-approved clinical trials indicate that there are no known local or systemic side effects from the use of FemCap.
Does FemCap require custom fitting?
Although, FemCap doesn’t require custom fitting. U.S. residents must obtain a prescription. Your clinician will determine which size you need based on your obstetrical history. Otherwise, FemCap comes in three sizes (22 mm, 26 mm, & 30 mm).
The most commonly used is the 30 mm (large); which was designed for women who have given birth vaginally.
The 26 mm (medium) was designed for women who have ever been pregnant; however, delivered by C-section or experienced a miscarriage or abortion. Even women who miscarried, or terminated the pregnancy (even after two weeks of pregnancy) will still require the 26 mm.
The 22 mm (small) was designed for women who have never been pregnant, this includes no miscarriages or abortions.
Can I purchase FemCap over the counter at my local pharmacy?
FemCap can not CURRENTLY be purchased over the counter. In addition, since the FemCap is FDA-approved, U.S. Residents must obtain a valid prescription provided by a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, physician’s assistant, or doctor. To learn more about getting FemCap, please click here.
Does health insurance cover the cost of FemCap?
Yes, if your health insurance covers FemCap.
FemCap is an FDA approved device. FemCap, Inc. will provide a proof of payment to submit to your insurance provider.
FemCap has been added to the California state Family PACT formulary.
Cervical cap (FemCap ) ICD10 Data codes HCPCS 2011 Code A A4261
Use the following NDC Codes for reimbursement:
|FemCap 22mm………………………………………………||NDC 08454-0001- 22|
|FemCap 26mm………………………………………………||NDC 08454-0002- 26|
|FemCap 30mm………………………………………………||NDC 08454-0003- 30|
For Clinicians use the following CPT codes for services:
|Initial Office Visit, Annual Examination||99243|
|Follow Up Visit||99214|
|Cervical Cap Fitting||57170|
|Contraceptive Supply Cervical Cap Device (unspecified)||99070|
Diagnostic ICD-10 Codes:
|General Contraceptive Counseling (Family Planning)||Z30.0|
Does FemCap interrupt spontaneity or interfere with sensation?
No, FemCap does not interrupt spontaneity or reduce sexual pleasure for either partner because it is inserted before any sexual arousal – up to 40 hours prior to sexual activity. Due to FemCap’s unique design and soft composition, the woman cannot feel it at all, and the male partner rarely even notices that it is there.
Does FemCap get dislodged during intercourse?
No. The FemCap is specifically designed with a longer brim that prevents it from being dislodged during intercourse. In order to accommodate different sexual positions, FemCap is DESIGNED to ROTATE, but so long as it covers the cervix,it will prevent sperm from entering the cervix. Proper insertion of FemCap ensures that the cervix remains covered throughout the sexual act.
Can spermicide cause irritation?
Spermicides currently available over the counter have been sold for more than thirty years with an excellent safety and effectiveness record. It is true that spermicide can cause irritation when used very frequently and in very high doses. To minimize the irritation caused by spermicide, FemCap is designed with a unique rim or groove facing the vagina. This groove stores the bulk of the spermicide and minimizes irritation or 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.
However, if you would like another option other than spermicide, I would recommend that you use aloe vera cream with a few drops of lime juice (not LEMON juice), this is just as effective as spermicide and is very convenient to obtain. You will only need about a table spoon, and can add it to the inside of the cap (going over your cervix); as well as, the inside of the rim or grove (where the removal strap is located).
Is FemCap cost-effective?
FemCap is a very cost effective form of birth control. FemCap costs less than $8.00/per month for unlimited use. Compare that with the price of condoms or birth control pills, and you’ll see that this is quite a savings. This level of affordability, combined with the added convenience, effectiveness and safety, make FemCap a great choice for your birth control needs.
How soft is FemCap?
FemCap is made of soft, latex-free, medical grade silicone rubber.
How does FemCap compare to the condom?
FemCap is woman-controlled and can be applied from 15 minutes up to 40 hours before intercourse. Whereas, a condom must be applied only minutes before intercourse. FemCap does not interrupt spontaneity or reduce sexual pleasure to either partner. In fact neither partner can feel FemCap during intercourse.
To learn more visit:
- FemCap compared to the condom
- Does it fit okay? Problems with condom use as a function of self …
- The Condom-Fitting Predicament | Penis Resources Blog
How does FemCap compare to hormonal contraceptives?
The FemCap causes absolutely no harm to the user. It is soft, non-invasive, and makes no changes in the physiology of the user. The FemCap is a lot safer and more natural than hormones.
Although, Hormonal contraceptives are more effective in preventing pregnancy than FemCap; if used with either spermicide or emergency contraception (the morning after pill) as a back up, the FemCap can effectively compensate for this relative decrease or difference in effectiveness.
Otherwise, use of spermicide or emergency contraception is NOT required while using the FemCap.
To learn more visit these sites:
- Are Your Birth Control Pills Hurting Your Sex Drive?
- Contraception Information: Birth Control and Your Libido
- When the Pill Arouses That Urge for Abstinence – New York Times
- Birth Control Pill – Oral Contraceptive
- YAZ Yasmin Ocella Gianvi Zarah Beyaz: Birth Control Pills: Side…
- NuvaRing®: Possible side effects and symptoms
- 7 Common Birth Control Side Effects – Birth Control and You
- Harmful Side Effects of Birth Control Pills
- Birth Control Pill Risks: Side Effects from Hormonal BCP
- Depo Provera Risks
- Birth Control Pills and Migraine Headache
How is FemCap different than the Diaphragm?
FemCap is different than the diaphragm in many ways.
- FemCap is made of a single piece of 100% surgical grade silicon, the diaphragm is made of silicone and metal
- FemCap is specifically designed to conform to a woman’s anatomy and adjust to changes during intercourse, the diaphragm does not
- FemCap is designed with an easy-to-use removal strap, removing the diaphragm can result in abrasions
- FemCap provides up to 48 hours of continuous protection, the diaphragm must be removed after 24 hours
These are just a few of the ways FemCap is different than the diaphragm. For more information on the differences between FemCap and the diaphragm, please click here.
How do users of FemCap feel about it?
Women who have tried FemCap fall in love with it! You can visit our testimonials page to see what some of them have to say.
In addition, FemCap is very highly accepted by women and their partners. In clinical trials, the majority of women who had prior experience with the diaphragm preferred FemCap.
FemCap training is relatively simple. Women can insert and remove FemCap in the squatting position on their own very easily and quickly.
Women Who Would be Very Successful Using FemCap
- Are highly motivated and educated
- Cannot tolerate the side effects of hormones
- Have contraindications to IUDs
- Are allergic to latex rubber or do not rely on the male to use the condom
Women Who Would Tend to Have a Higher Failure Rate with FemCap
- Have used the earlier version of FemCap
- Have aversions to touching their genitalia
- Lack motivation and/or planning