IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PERFECT 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 inserted 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 insert it as you would insert 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 6 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 inserted 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
EFFICACY WITH PERFECT USE
The diaphragm is mostly self-administered with a prescription. If used perfectly every time – fitted correctly and used with spermicide – the diaphragm is a fairly effective, non-hormone contraceptive method.View ’Typical’ Use Efficacy Rate
EFFICACY WITH TYPICAL USE
The diaphragm is mostly self-administered with a prescription. It requires proper placement, and the use of spermicides, to work most effectively. We're all human and we're not all perfect all the time, and with typical use the diaphragm is fairly effective.View ’Perfect’ Use Efficacy Rate
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 6 hours after you have sex.
The diaphragm has no impact on menstruation.
There is no reason for a diaphragm to get lost or stuck inside the body. Your doctor or nurse should make the initial fitting to ensure you have a diaphragm that is the right fit for you, and you should practice how to put it in and how to take it out with them. You should also return to your doctor or nurse every six months to check your diaphragm still fits properly.
The diaphragm can be placed immediately before, or up to six hours before sexual intercourse.
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.
Yes, it is possible to use the diaphragm during menstruation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.