The cervical cap is a barrier contraceptive method with an efficacy similar to that of the diaphragm. It has several advantages over other barrier contraceptives. In particular, it can be left in place for up to 48 hours, and repeated applications of spermicide are not necessary, even if sexual intercourse occurs more than once. In addition, the side effects seen with other barrier methods do not occur with the cervical cap. In some women, Papanicolaou tests may become abnormal, especially during the first three months of cap use. Therefore, careful monitoring of cervical cap users is essential.