BLOCKING ACCESS TO SPERM UP TO 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FIT
The diaphragm is a simple barrier that stops sperm from reaching the womb. It is a dome-shaped flexible disc with a flexible rim, and is made from latex rubber or silicone. It must be placed into the vagina before you have sex. Wash your hands, fill the diaphragm with spermicide, and add some around the edges to be safe. Then fold it in half and place it as you would place a tampon, pushing it up until it covers your cervix.
The great thing about the diaphragm is that you can be organized or last minute. It can be left in place for up to 24 hours, but if you have sex more than once you should apply more spermicide. You should also leave the diaphragm in for at least six hours after sex. Your doctor or nurse may conduct an initial fitting to make sure you have the correct size, but after that it's up to you. Other than making sure it is placed properly, you should also check it from time to time to make sure it isn't damaged. You should also have the diaphragm checked by a doctor or nurse after childbirth, or if you lose a significant amount of weight, just to make sure it still fits correctly.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
No. The diaphragm is hormone-free and works best when it is used with spermicide.
EASE OF USE
The diaphragm needs to be placed in the vagina up to 24 hours prior to intercourse each time you have sex, and it must be left in place for at least six hours after you have sex.
The diaphragm has no impact on menstruation.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT TO HAVE SEX SPONTANEOUSLY?
The diaphragm can be placed immediately before, or up to six hours before sexual intercourse.
WHY SHOULD THE DIAPHRAGM NOT BE WORN FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS AT A TIME?
Wearing a diaphragm for longer than 24 hours without removing it can promote bacterial growth inside the vagina. Bacteria can cause toxic shock syndrome, which is a rare but serious infection.
CAN I USE THE DIAPHRAGM DURING MY PERIOD?
Yes, it is possible to use the diaphragm during menstruation.
WHAT DO I DO IF THE DIAPHRAGM COMES OUT DURING INTERCOURSE?
Simply re-position the diaphragm after applying more spermicide. If the diaphragm comes out after your partner has ejaculated, or if you do not feel it was positioned properly during sex, visit your doctor or nurse to discuss whether you need emergency contraception.
CAN I HAVE SEX MORE THAN ONCE AFTER I HAVE PLACED MY DIAPHRAGM?
Yes. If your diaphragm is properly placed it will remain in position, but you will need to apply more spermicide each time you have intercourse.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I COUGH WHEN MY DIAPHRAGM IS IN PLACE?
You may experience some pain or discomfort if you cough while your diaphragm is in. In rare cases, other complications, such as musculoskeletal problems or hiatal hernia, may occur.
HOW DOES SPERMICIDE WORK IN RELATION TO THE DIAPHRAGM?
Adding spermicide to your diaphragm before placing it in your vagina makes it more effective. Spermicide has chemicals that stop sperm from moving so they can't get to an egg. The diaphragm keeps the spermicide in place, near your cervix.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse today.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The number of hours the diaphragm can be worn at a time.
The year in which Dr. C. Hasse (pseudonym Wilhelm Mesinga) is credited with inventing the diaphragm.
How many hours the diaphragm must stay in place after intercourse.
- It’s self-administered and used on demand.
- It can be used when breastfeeding.
- It is hormone-free and can be an option for women who experience unwanted effects from hormones.
- It should be used with spermicide to be most effective.
- A doctor or nurse should do an initial fitting, and self-administering a diaphragm can take a bit of practice.
- It may not be suitable for women who have given birth.
- Some women experience irritation, allergic reactions, and urinary tract infections, and if left in place for more than 24 hours there is a risk of toxic shock syndrome.
- It doesn’t protect against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Is It Okay?
Your diaphragm must cover your cervix fully to work. If you feel your diaphragm doesn’t fit properly, consult your doctor or nurse. They will be able to advise about the correct fit. In the meantime, consider using an alternative method of contraception such as a condom
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 6 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
A small tablet containing one hormone, or a combined pill containing two hormones, that is self-administered with a prescription and needs to be swallowed at the same time each day.
A shot containing hormone(s) that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 1 or 3 months.
A small, thin, skin-colored plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Though some are fitted by a doctor or nurse, most are self-administered with a prescription up to 24 hours before sex.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom that works in the same way male condoms do, though it is placed in the vagina. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina, it is also the only method that helps lower the risk of STIs. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A small, round piece of foam with a nylon loop that is placed in the vagina right before intercourse. It is bought over the counter and is self-administered.
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘the pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the tubes carrying sperm.