Cervical cap: A soft rubber cup with a round rim designed to fit snugly around the cervix and act as a barrier contraceptive device. A spermicide is applied to the cap before insertion to kill sperm.
A cervical cap is basically a small snug diaphragm and, like a diaphragm, a cervical cap must be sized by a health professional and is available by prescription only.
A cervical cap protects against conception for 48 hours and for multiple acts of intercourse within that time.
Wearing a cervical cap for more than 48 hours is not recommended because of the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but potentially fatal condition. Symptoms of TSS include sudden fever, an stomach upset, a sunburn-like rash, and a drop in blood pressure. The prolonged use of a cervical cap for two or more days may also cause an unpleasant vaginal odor or discharge in some women.