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If you have used spermicide or contraceptive gels in the past, you know that they are most effective when used in conjunction with contraceptive barriers - cervical caps, diaphragms, and condoms. These types of barrier contraceptives are usually made with latex or more recently silicon, which works well for people who experience adverse reactions to latex based products. In all cases the combination of contraceptive gel with the barrier is that which is the only realistic combination.



All About Cervical Caps

The cervical cap is a form of barrier contraception that fits snugly over the cervix and blocks sperm from entering the uterus through the external orifice of the uterus.  The external orifice of the uterus is called the os. One of the most popular types of cervical caps is Fempcap. Femcap is made with medical grade silicon rubber, which is perfect for users who experience adverse reactions to latex. As of February 2009, after Prentif Cap was discontinued, FemCap was the only FDA approved cervical cap available in the United States.

Lea's Shield was a cervical barrier device which was discontinued in 2008.  Some sources use ‘cervical cap’ to refer to FemcCap and Lea’s Shield while others classify Lea’s Sheild as a distinct type of device. Terminology on different sites can be confusing, so make sure you understand which device is being referred to in your research.

All cervical caps must be used in conjunction with a contraceptive gel in order to be effective.  Because of it's chemical-free, all natural ingredients, the Ethical Family Planning Association recommends the use of ContraGel, the natural alternative to spermicide in conjunction with the FemCap cervical cap. Both of these products can be found on this website.



All About Diaphragms

The traditional diaphragm is shaped like a dome with a spring moulded into the rim and is made of silicone or soft latex. The spring creates a seal against the walls of the vagina. New diaphragm designs such as Caya use newer technology, design and materials to mould a formed spring which is contoured, offering a better fit and looking a lot more sophisticated than the traditional 'flying saucer' design. As a result of the new design, the Caya comes in just one size which covers users of 65mm, 70mm, 75mm and 80mm traditional diaphragm users.

According to contraceptive technology, the method failure rate of the 'traditional' diaphragm used with spermicide is 6% per year.  Annual pregnancy rates of 10 to 39% of diaphragm users have also been reported.  These however vary greatly between the populations being studied.  One of the most interesting things to consider about diaphragms is that they are as equally effective for women who have given birth as they are for women who have not.  This is a characteristic unique to diaphragms when compared to other forms of cervical barriers.

Using diaphragms has been known to increase the risk of contracting urinary tract infections (UTIs).  Urinating before inserting the diaphragm and also after intercourse may reduce this risk.  The increased risk of UTIs may be due to the diaphragm applying pressure to the urethra, which is common if the diaphragm is too large.  This causes irritation by preventing the bladder from emptying completely. However, the spermicide Nonoxynol-9 is itself associated with an increased risk of UTI, yeast infection, and bacterial vaginosis. For this reason, some advocate the use of lactic acid based spermicides, which may have fewer side effects.

For women who experience side effects from Nonoxynol-9, some sources have suggested using diaphragms without spermicide.  One study reported a 24% rate of actual pregnancy per year among women using the diaphragm without spermicide.  The women in this study were not fitted individually by a clinician and were instead all given a 60mm diaphragm. There haven’t been enough studies to recommend using diaphragms without spermicide or contraceptive gel, so you should still use both products together for maximum protection. Spermicide traditionally contains Nonoxynol 9 which is known to cause irritations with many users, the Ethical Family Planning Association recommends Spermicide or a a Nonoxynol 9 free contraceptive gel such as ContraGel, especially for women who experience irritation as a result of Nonoxynol-9.

Diaphragms also come with the risk of experiencing toxic shock syndrome (TSS) however the actual chance of this happening is quite low.  Out of 100,000 diaphragm users, 2.4 will experience TSS.  This happens almost exclusively when the diaphragm is left inside the vagina for over 24 hours.

Those allergic to latex are advised against using latex diaphragms.  There are only a few non-latex diaphragms available on the market.  One of the most popular silicon based diaphragm brands is Milex.



All About Condoms

A condom is one of the most popular barrier devices on the market.  It is a contraceptive used during intercourse, most often by males, to avoid pregnancy.  A condom can also be used to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting sexual transmitted diseases (STDs) such as HIV, chlamydia and syphillis.  Condoms are placed over a man’s erect penis and act as a physical barricade, preventing ejaculated semen from entering the body of the man’s sexual partner.

Male condoms are user-friendly, inexpensive, have few side effects and can reduce the risk of transmitting STDs.  When used properly during each act of intercourse, the pregnancy rate of users is only 2% per year.

Because of their elasticity, durability, and waterproof quality, condoms can be used for other diverse things unrelated to contraception.  For example, condoms have been used to create waterproof microphones and also to collect semen for use in an infertility treatment.  They can even prevent rifle barrels from clogging.

Some male condoms are made with materials such as polyurethane, polyisoprene or lamb intestine, but the vast majority are made from latex. Female condoms on the other hand, are most often made with polyurethane.

Some condoms come pre-lubricated with a small amount of Nonoxynol-9 spermicide chemical.  Consumer Reports have concluded that these spermicide-lubricated condoms don’t actually offer any additional benefits when it comes to preventing pregnancy.  They also have a shorter lifespan than regular condoms and are believed to cause urinary-tract infections in women.  On the other hand, applying separately packaged spermicide to condoms is believed to increase a condom’s efficiency.

The failure rate of condoms varies depending on the population being studied and has been reported to be around 10-18% per year.  The pregnancy rate of condoms used perfectly is 2% per year.  For maximum protection, condoms may be used with other forms of contraception, such as spermicide or contraceptive gel

Here on this website you can find Glyde condoms which are certified vegan by the Vegan Society and as such contain no animal by-products.



What About Contraceptive Sponges?

Contraceptive sponges prevent contraception by combining barrier and spermicidal methods.  These sponges cannot be reused or refilled and must be disposed of after use.  The leading brands of contraceptive sponges on the market today are Pharmatex, Protectaid and Today sponge.  Pharmax is available in France and Quebec; Protectaid in Canada and Europe; while Today is sold in the United States.

The Today sponge manufacturer reports a success rate of 89% to 91% for users who practice contraception with the sponge consistently and correctly.  The success rate of users who do not follow the directions on the package prior to intercourse drop to 84% to 89%.  Other sources report lower effectiveness for women who have given birth in comparison with those who have not (74% for perfect use and 68% during typical use).

The effectiveness of typical use of Protectaid has been reported at 77% to 91%, while perfect use has rates of over 99% per year.  Studies of Pharmatex have shown typical use success rates of 81% per year.  To further increase the effectiveness of condoms, implementing another method of birth control such as condoms could be beneficial.

Unlike Protectaid and Pharmatex sponges which come ready to use, you must run the Today sponge under water until it´s completely wet before insertion.  Each sponge may be inserted 24 hours before intercourse.  In order to be effective, it must be left in place for at least six hours after intercourse.  Contraceptive sponges should not be worn for more than 30 hours straight.

The contraceptive sponge acts as a physical barrier that prevents sperm from entering the cervix and going into the female reproductive system.  Spermicide is an essential component of practicing contraception with sponges and each brand is manufactured using a different kind of spermicide.

The Today sponge contains 1,000 milligrams of Nonoxynol-9.  Protectaid contains 5,000 mg of F-5 gel, which contains three active ingredients (6.25 mg of Nonoxynol-9, 6.25 mg of Benzalkonium Chloride, and 25 mg of sodium cholate). Pharmatex contains 60 mg of Benzalkonium chloride.  The abundance of Nonxynol-9 is often a concern of potential users.  If you've experienced any adverse reactions to Nonoxynol-9 spermicide before, you will most likely be irritated by sponges and should therefore consider an alternative form of barrier contraceptives such as the cervical cap in conjunction with ContraGel.

Women who use the sponge have an increased risk of contracting yeast and urinary tract infections.  Leaving the sponge in for over thirty hours can cause toxic shock syndrome, therefore it´s extremely important to use sponges with proper care and attention.  If you experience any averse reactions to the sponge, you may be allergic to spermicide and should seek medical attention before continuing use.



Take a look at some of our other products that can help your on your journey to more natural, wholesome reproductive health. Make sure you check the Yes line of organic lubricants, the progressive choice for green and chemical free lubricants to enhance your love life which are actually compatible with ContraGel, our natural alternative to spermicide.


Milex Omniflex Diaphragms

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Our diaphragms are always in stock and we ship the next working day after we receive your order.


With the old Ortho All Flex diaphragms having disappeared from the market, the Milex brand from Cooper Surgical, a USA/American company, is without a doubt the number 1 brand for classic diaphragms.


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Caya Single Size Diaphragms

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Buy Caya Diaphragms Online

Caya is the new single sized diaphragm which has just been launched.


Remember it is not a "one size fits all" diaphragm, rather it is only available in one single size. It replaces the traditional 65mm, 70mm, 75mm and 80mm diaphragms so knowing your traditional diaphragm size is still a requirement..


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Hormone Free Contraception


FemCap Cervical Cap

El FemCap is a non hormonal, instantly reversible, barrier contraceptive, approved by the FDA and CE as well as being prescribed by the NHS.


As a cervical cap it helps prevent sperm reaching the uterus in order to reduce the risk of pregnancy in fertile women during their Fertility Window.


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The Natural Alternative

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Breastfeeding & Fertility

Our ContraGel is always in stock and we ship the next working day after we receive your order.


Currently we have an offer where when you buy 3 tubes the price drops from £15 a tube to £10 a tube. No voucher or special offer code is needed, just add it to your cart. We use fixed shipping prices so the volume you buy does not effect your shipping costs, so take advantage and save some money!


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Vegan and Organic

YES Lubricants

YES Organic and Vegan Lubricants YES

YES water based lubricants are compatible with ContraGel, our vegan condoms and FemCap.


They are made from all natural ingredients, are completely chemical free and organic. The water based lubricants contain Aloa Vera, are condom safe and are vegan.


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Vegan Friendly Products

Want To Buy Vegan?

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ContraGel is vegan friendly, containing no animal derived products and has not been tested on animals.


It's also worth noting that FemCap is also vegan friendly, our Glyde condoms are certified vegan and also our Natracare intimate wipes, a great bedside companion for barrier contraceptive users.


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