Lea’s Shield Top view
Lea’s Shield showing the 10 mm vent opening in the bowl
Lea’s shield: Lea’s shield was supposed to be a one-size fits-all cervical barrier with a one-way valve that would allow vaginal discharge to flow out while preventing semen from entering the bowl to reach the wearer’s cervix. I haven’t written about it because while the idea was marvelous the design was flawed so it was taken off the market several years ago and very few women I know and no entertainers use an LS. However, because it was made of surgical grade silicone women and their partners who had the anatomy to use it as intended (for traditional sexual intercourse at one atmosphere of pressure) and liked it still use the Shield so there are still a few in use and it can still be purchased on-line.
Problems with the Shield: One of the problems with Lea’s Shield is that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cervical barrier. At best Lea’s shield is a one-size fits-most device so women with small anatomies found because of the Shields large volume it was difficult or impossible to insert. Or, for those who could insert it and wear it comfortably the valve often hurt a well endowed partner. I take an 80 mm diaphragm so I’m on the upper end of a ‘normal’ size unaroused vagina, but I tent far more than the average woman because when fully aroused and penetrated from the rear I can take an 11 inch man with almost no discomfort. However, with the Shield inserted I can only take 8 inches and the valve, even though it’s very soft, hurt my well endowed partners. So, my Lea’s Shield in its lovely teal bag has ended up as a paperweight and conversation piece on my desk at work.
The Shield and dive-sex: Why I’m writing about Lea’s Shield now is because a 26 y/o woman was brought into the ER side of the clinic just as I was leaving after my usual CD1 menstrual extraction yesterday morning. She had gone into the 20 foot deep pool of a pool bungalow wearing a Lea’s shield as a gas guard. She is a friend of the guest who had reserved the bungalow for a week and she had always before used an arcing spring diaphragm as a gas guard but had forgotten it so wore her normal surface sex protection, the Lea’s Shield into the pool. She had used Semécide, the Dive-Gel with an N9 spermicide, in the bowl of her Shield and wore a bikini and her own single hose reg and a buoyancy vest with integrated weight pockets. The security cams show that after checking her equipment on the surface she released air from her vest and began a rapid descent and at about 5 feet she started to squirm and apparently panicked. She tried to inflate her vest and drop her weights but managed to do neither and she continued to sink to the bottom doubled over and writhing in pain with her fingers inserted in her vagina. The guest, her boyfriend, was ready to start his descent and emptied his BCD and sank to her side in less than a minute then hit the fill valves on both their buoyancy compensators and made an a emergency ascent and pulled her to the shallow end and out of the pool.
Fortunately she was using her own dive gear so the casino isn’t liable for damages and having pool access she had signed a waver one section of which spelled out the gas guards a woman should use (which does not include Lea’s Shield) if she intended to have pool-sex. So I think we are in the clear as far as legalities go. With other style cervical caps; FemCap, Prentif or Oves the silicone or latex of the dome is so soft and small that the dome can collapse around or on to the cervix and there will be no (in the case of Oves) or very little squeeze in the case of Prentif or FemCap. That is often not the case with a Lea’s Shield.
The bowl void: The problem is that the dome, which the manufacturer calls the bowl, is large, 30 mm wide, to accommodate women who have given birth. That means it is too large for most women who have never been pregnant so there is a large surface pressure void in the bowl. And the bowl is very stiff which means that if the wearer descends to much depth at all and she has a large void in the bowl the surrounding water pressure will squeeze her cervix and the neck of her uterus into the bowl to fill the void and then squeeze her cervix out through the 10 mm opening between the bowl and the one-way valve that is kept shut by being compressed between the rear vaginal wall and the outer surface of the bowl. We are talking about the diameter of a small cervix being 20 to 22 mm so having that squeezed through a 10 mm hole gives you some idea that the process is unbelievably painful even though the cervix itself has few nerves in it. Having ones cervix crushed by pressure squeeze while diving the first indication is severe cramps and then a sickening searing pain. The interior of the cervix is full of blood vessels and once they are ruptured the woman bleeds freely and the hemorrhaging is difficult to stop.
The ER Gyn sedated her gave her a unit of blood and opened her vagina with a speculum, then had to cut through the thick silicone dome of the bowl with a laser knife to break the vacuum so the shield could be removed. Then a tube was inserted through her cervix to allow drainage and the cervix was injected with a med to cause the wounds to clot and her vagina was packed with gauze and she was sent to the private hospital the casino uses which specializes in reproductive tract trauma. Rebuilding a cervix is tricky and I’m guessing if she is able to carry a pregnancy to term she will never be able to give birth vaginally or she will almost certainly tear.