Medicine: Comeback of A Contraceptive

The centuries-old cervical cap finally wins FDA approval

Women trying to choose a contraceptive these days face a frustrating task. The list of safe, reliable alternatives seems to keep getting shorter. Driven by fears about adverse side effects, many women scrapped first the Pill, then the intrauterine device. Large numbers found themselves forced back to a centuries-old method, the diaphragm. Last week the Food and Drug Administration added a new option by approving the marketing of another ancient birth-control device, the cervical cap.

Like the diaphragm, the cap is a barrier contraceptive that blocks sperm from passing from the vagina into the uterus. A thimble-shaped device made from rubber...

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