What is Caya?
Unknown to many, there is a new and improved version of the “dinosaur” of contraceptive, the diaphragm, called Caya! A diaphragm is a silicone cup that fits over the cervix and is filled with a spermicide gel that prevents pregnancy by blocking sperm from reaching the uterus. Caya is the diaphragm’s first makeover in 50 years, with improved features that allow it to be more user friendly. For those environmentally conscious folks who probably also use menstrual cups, Caya can be reused for up to 2 years after the first use. Caya differs from other diaphragms in that it has a removal dome at the end of the cup that allows for easy removal and has grips along the rim to guide you in knowing where to grip while inserting! Able to be inserted directly before sex, Caya and the accompanying spermicide gel is an excellent option for folks looking for a non hormonal contraceptive method with no effects on fertility.
But Does it Work?
In terms of non hormonal contraceptives, Caya has a pretty good efficacy rate of 83%. For reference, the copper IUD has 99.2% efficacy rate, condoms 84%, and the contraceptive pill 92%-97%. Caya obviously has room for user error, and does not protect from STIs, making using it on its own a more ideal method for an established monogamous sexual partnership. Caya could be a good backup method of contraception if you are not willing to dabble in hormones but don't want to use only condoms!
How Does it Work?
To obtain Caya, you first need a prescription from your provider. Caya is a “one size fits most” product, so your provider will likely check and make sure you fall into the 80% of bodies Caya supposedly fits. There is an instructional video animated with piano ballads in the background up on Caya’s website if you need step by step instructions, but let me spare your ears and give you a brief summary. Before you insert the Caya, you fill the shallow cup with your Caya Gel spermicide. Fold the cup like a taco and insert it into the vagina like a tampon, holding it where the grips are on the rim. You want to push the Caya up into your vagina until the cup completely covers your cervix and the removal dome sits behind your pubic bone. As soon as Caya has been inserted you are ready to get your freak on! For more than one round, you have to apply additional Caya Gel for maximum pregnancy prevention. Make sure that you leave Caya in for 6 hours after intercourse so no sperm makes it into the uterus, and never leave it in for longer than 24 hours. To remove Caya, just use your fingers to find the removal dome and pull it out!
Is it Worth it?
Whether or not Caya is right for you depends on what you want out of your contraceptive. Without insurance coverage, Caya ranges from $80-$90, so it’s not the most accessible birth control to folks with a lower income and no insurance. If you are financially able and have been looking for a non hormonal pregnancy prevention method that doesn't affect your fertility, Caya might be a great one for you to ask your provider about!