Cap or diaphragm vs Progestogen-only / Mini pill

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Cap or diaphragm

Want to switch contraception?

Progestogen-only / Mini pill

£From £0.22/day

Overview

Rated 3.9

14 reviews

During or before sex

Frequency

84% - 94%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Rated 2.7

1265 reviews

Daily

Frequency

91% - 99+%

Effectiveness

None

Blood clot risk

None

Effect on fertility

Cap or diaphragm ingredients

A contraceptive diaphragm or cap is a circular dome made of thin
soft silicone
although they come in different shapes
sizes and materials. You need to use it with a gel that kills sperm called spermicide. The most common active ingredient of spermicides is nonoxynol-9.

Progestogen-only / Mini pill ingredients

Main hormones in Progestogen-only / Mini pill

progestogen

What Lowdown reviewers say

Benefits: What this contraceptive can help with

There are no benefits that are recognised in scientific research or guidelines for this contraceptive

Period pain

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£From £0.22/day

Check out our latest reviews

Real life reviews from people like you

Cap or diaphragm reviews

14 reviews

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 week ago

  •  Still using

Apart from the issue I'm currently dealing with (it getting stuck inside of me), I LOVE the diaphragm. I found out I wasn't never fitted (which is why it kept getting stuck upon removal), so my new, awesome doctor actually sized me. It's easier than popping in a tampon once you learn how to do it and then ya pop it out the morning after sex. No side effects, no hormones, no emotional hangover. It's very hard to find though. Pharmaceutical companies don't want women to buy one silicone object that lasts for the rest of your life, so finding the right size and actually getting it has been a challenge. My mom used it and only got pregnant to have me (her only child) and I've been using it for 5+ years with no issues.

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Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1st Jan 24

  •  Still using

I've used Caya several times over the past couple years (they last up to 2 years- due for a new one now). I use it on the edges of my fertile window (with fertility awareness) and/or combined with withdrawal or condoms to boost efficacy during the fertile window. Always use with Caya/Contragel- they come with an applicator to re-insert the gel into the vagina, as you need to reapply the gel each time you have sex. Watching the YouTube instructions on how to put it in (plus the instruction manual in the box!) helped me understand how to use it properly and to have an idea of how it was inserted properly.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

1 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  14th Feb 23

  •  Still using

I used the caya cap. It has been a game changer after previously taking the pill. I feel in control, no need to remember to take a pill, just put it in when needed. Better than condoms as it is women based and not detectable. Effect of not taking hormonal contraceptives has been amazing. All the side effects that I had ( migraines, reduced sex drive, dryness, breast tenderness, strong period pains, breakthrough bleeding and emotionalness) all gone. I wish someone had told me about it before!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

1 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 week ago

  •  Still using

Apart from the issue I'm currently dealing with (it getting stuck inside of me), I LOVE the diaphragm. I found out I wasn't never fitted (which is why it kept getting stuck upon removal), so my new, awesome doctor actually sized me. It's easier than popping in a tampon once you learn how to do it and then ya pop it out the morning after sex. No side effects, no hormones, no emotional hangover. It's very hard to find though. Pharmaceutical companies don't want women to buy one silicone object that lasts for the rest of your life, so finding the right size and actually getting it has been a challenge. My mom used it and only got pregnant to have me (her only child) and I've been using it for 5+ years with no issues.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 18 mo - 3 yr
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1st Jan 24

  •  Still using

I've used Caya several times over the past couple years (they last up to 2 years- due for a new one now). I use it on the edges of my fertile window (with fertility awareness) and/or combined with withdrawal or condoms to boost efficacy during the fertile window. Always use with Caya/Contragel- they come with an applicator to re-insert the gel into the vagina, as you need to reapply the gel each time you have sex. Watching the YouTube instructions on how to put it in (plus the instruction manual in the box!) helped me understand how to use it properly and to have an idea of how it was inserted properly.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

1 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
34 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  14th Feb 23

  •  Still using

I used the caya cap. It has been a game changer after previously taking the pill. I feel in control, no need to remember to take a pill, just put it in when needed. Better than condoms as it is women based and not detectable. Effect of not taking hormonal contraceptives has been amazing. All the side effects that I had ( migraines, reduced sex drive, dryness, breast tenderness, strong period pains, breakthrough bleeding and emotionalness) all gone. I wish someone had told me about it before!


Top side effects not reported

1 helpful

1 comments


Progestogen-only / Mini pill reviews

1265 reviews

Used for 12 - 18 mo
22 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

I had to switch from the combined pill to the mini pill following a bought of migraines with aura. At first, it was great - I didn’t get periods, I felt good, I wasn’t worried about strokes etc. However, after around 6 months of my body getting used to it, my periods came back, extremely irregular (I.e. 3 periods in one month), my mood and mental health had significantly declined, and my skin is absolutely terrible.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I actually really loved the Cerazette mini pill. It basically stopped my periods, so pretty amazing because my period cramps are unbearable. I was really sad when I had to stop taking it but I just couldn't deal with the extreme acne it gave me. It started about 3 weeks after starting Cerazette and it vanished within a couple months of stopping it so I am 100 percent sure it was this pill. I have never before or since had acne at all (apart from when I was a teenager eons ago, but basically I am not someone who ever has it). I am waiting for a mini pill that will not give me acne, meanwhile I make due with the combined pill.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Still using

Generally a good pill but I am bleeding every week on it which is it’s main downside for me


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
22 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  4 days ago

  •  Still using

I had to switch from the combined pill to the mini pill following a bought of migraines with aura. At first, it was great - I didn’t get periods, I felt good, I wasn’t worried about strokes etc. However, after around 6 months of my body getting used to it, my periods came back, extremely irregular (I.e. 3 periods in one month), my mood and mental health had significantly declined, and my skin is absolutely terrible.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 12 - 18 mo
30 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  5 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I actually really loved the Cerazette mini pill. It basically stopped my periods, so pretty amazing because my period cramps are unbearable. I was really sad when I had to stop taking it but I just couldn't deal with the extreme acne it gave me. It started about 3 weeks after starting Cerazette and it vanished within a couple months of stopping it so I am 100 percent sure it was this pill. I have never before or since had acne at all (apart from when I was a teenager eons ago, but basically I am not someone who ever has it). I am waiting for a mini pill that will not give me acne, meanwhile I make due with the combined pill.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
24 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Still using

Generally a good pill but I am bleeding every week on it which is it’s main downside for me


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 6 mo
36 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

Switched to this after not liking the combined pill side effects. After a few months of using it and having very irregular periods I noticed my skin and hair became very oily, needing to be washed daily. My hair also became thinner. I decided to stop this pill and look for an alternative.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 8+ yr
36 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  6 days ago

  •  Stopped using

I used Cerazette for 15 years and didn't really think about it, which is a testament to how few notable side effects I had. Worked effectively, and didn't hugely affect my appearance (skin or weight) which was very important to me when I began taking it at 21. However, I suffered from headaches / migraines almost weekly which I never connected to Cerazette until I stopped taking it, and since then they've gone completely (it's now been almost a year since I last took a pill). I've also got so much more energy, and my libido came back as soon as I got my periods back. Overall, if you can't take the combined pill and want a hormonal option, I really would recommend it, but be mindful that some side effects might come on slowly over years.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
19 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  1 week ago

  •  Stopped using

Overall, I was happy with this pill. I am not currently on it as I'm in between prescriptions and its been difficult contacting my doctor. However, the last week without it has made me realise how I was benefitting from it. I used to get mood swings quite often which disappeared when on this pill. The first month, my mood swings were still there like before and I found that I was more likely to cry over small things but this went away after the first 4 weeks. Before, I would also get medium pain cramps that lasted nearly the whole day for about 2 weeks on and off every month. This went down to small cramps for an hour maybe one or twice a month which was definitely a positive. I did get one or two more spots on my face which was annoying as I've struggled with my skin for a while and was finally starting to clear it up before starting the pill but this wasn't a significant impact because I was used to my stubborn skin. I also got spots on my back and chest, but these started going away again after about 6-8 weeks. The main impact I had was my period. It went from being pretty regular and heavy for 6-7 days every month to a very light period (ranging from light/medium to basically only spotting) that lasted for 3 weeks. Although without cramps and because it was so light it didn't impact me much (it was more an inconvenience). After this, I wouldn't get my period for over a month (about 5 weeks) and then it started again. I understand that this is what would put most people off getting the pill and it was what I had been dreading the most but I realised that it wasn't as bad as I thought as most days I could get away with just a panty liner rather than an actual pad or tampon (and it reassured me I wasn't pregnant).


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 1 - 3 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

Constant spotting throughout use. Skin had a few spots but generally felt less smooth, larger pores and oilier. Noticeable decrease in sex drive. More apathetic mood.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
26 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Stopped using

I was on this contraception for 12 months and didn't notice any negative side effects. I have heavy periods with pain and after a few months of using the mini pill these mostly stopped which was a great benefit. I have listed weight gain as a symptom however I would not attribute this to the pill and more to unrelated health reasons. Ordered through The Lowdown which I found easy to do. Where possible I prefer not to go through the NHS for cost reasons/hope those who really need their services get them and the Lowdown offered a great alternative.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 6 - 12 mo
28 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

First few weeks were lovely, no noticeable side effects. Then came the breakthrough bleeding which didn't stop for months on end and still continues to this day at a minimal level. Couldn't fault this pill otherwise but the breakthrough bleeding is a major inconvenience and almost defeats the point of being on a form of BC. Breasts became slightly more enlarged and occasional lower back pains. I just wasn't one of the lucky ones for which bleeding stops completely. Periods are much lighter though but more drawn out. My usual 4-5 days are now 7-9 and that's not counting the daily spotting. It's been good as a temporary measure but I'll be glad to be off Lovima when the time is right because predictable periods >>> unpredictable spotting.


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

Used for 3 - 5 yr
29 years old
🇬🇧 UK
  •  2 weeks ago

  •  Still using

This contraception has been great for me. I went on to stop my periods as I suffer badly with cramps and it did stop them. I haven’t noticed many physically side effects but I do feel my sex drive has been badly hit! I also think I am a little less joyous on this pill, nothing is wet yourself funny to me anymore!


Top side effects not reported

0 helpful

0 comments

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