is a dome shaped soft rubber cup with a flexible rim. It is placed
in the vagina, covering the cervix, with the front rim behind
the pubic bone. The diaphragm must be used with a contraceptive
jelly or foam. Various types of diaphragms are available. The
diaphragm must be fitted by a doctor. This ensures the correct
size so it will stay in place. The doctor will give a prescription
for the device to be purchased from a pharmacy. The woman must
be instructed on how to use it correctly. She should practice
inserting it, removing it and the doctor should check that it
is properly placed.
How does it work?
The diaphragm acts as
a barrier to keep the sperm from getting into the cervix. The
contraceptive jelly kills the sperm in the vagina. The diaphragm
also may protect against sexually transmitted diseases and cervical
dysplasia. (cell changes)
How is it used?
* Put about one tablespoon of contraceptive jelly in the diaphragm
and around the rim.
* Squeeze the sides of the rim together (dome side down).
* With one leg up on a stool/toilet seat, hold the lips of the
vagina open and insert the diaphragm as far back as it will go,
as you would a tampon.
* A plastic inserter can also be used to put the diaphragm in
* When properly in place, you should be able to feel the cervix
through the diaphragm. Neither the woman nor her partner should
feel any discomfort from it. The diaphragm can be inserted up
to six hours before intercourse. However, if it has been in place
for more than two hours, an extra application of jelly/foam must
* If intercourse takes place more than once, extra contraceptive
jelly/foam must be inserted into the vagina. The diaphragm must
remain in place for six to eight hours after intercourse.
* To remove, hook a finger or inserter under the rim and pull
it out. Then wash it with mild soap and water, inspect it carefully
for breaks and tears. Store in a cool, dry place.
How effective is it?
Studies show that the failure rate
for a diaphragm is 12-18%. Condoms should be used for extra protection.
Most diaphragms will last up to two years. Diaphragm size may
change if you have had a pregnancy, abortion, lower pelvic surgery,
lost or gained ten or more pounds.
What are the possible side effects and complications?
* allergy to rubber or spermicide
* urinary tract infections
* recurrent yeast infections
* toxic shock syndrome (if left in place more than a total of
* female on top during sex may cause the diaphragm to be dislodged
Who should not use a diaphragm?
Women should not use a diaphragm if they have:
* abnormalities of the vagina/uterus that prevent a proper fit
of the diaphragm
* a history of toxic shock syndrome
* recurrent or persistent urinary tract infections or vaginitis
(this can sometimes be corrected with a smaller diaphragm and
urinating immediately after intercourse).
Foams, Jellies & Sponge