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What is a diaphragm and how does it work?

A diaphragm is a soft, thin, dome shaped rubber cup with a flexible rim. Spermicidal jelly is placed inside the dome of the diaphragm and it is then placed high in the vagina to hold the spermicide against the cervix.

The diaphragm comes in different sizes and must be fitted by you doctor or nurse practitioner to be effective.

How does the diaphragm work?

The diaphragm acts as a barrier between the cervix and the penis. The diaphragm itself does not stop the sperm from reaching the cervix, the spermicide helps by killing the sperm.

How effective is it?
The diaphragm is 80% effective for those that use it correctly every time.

Why choose the diaphragm?

  • It can be inserted several hours before intercourse as long as it is left in place for at least 6 hours after the last act of intercourse. Additional spermicide should be inserted before each act of intercourse without removing the diaphragm.
  • It can be left in for up to 24 hours at a time.
  • You use it only when having intercourse.

Are there any problems using the diaphragm?

  • If you or your partner is allergic to spermicidal jelly or latex, don’t use a diaphragm.
  • Some women can have more bladder infections. It must be washed and dried after each use to avoid infections. Spermicide may also contribute to more infections.
  • The wrong size diaphragm can cause cramping, pelvic pain, or pregnancy.