Published on 31 May 2016 | 12 months ago
What Is the Diaphragm?
The diaphragm (DIE ah fram) is a shallow, dome-shaped cup with a flexible rim. It is made of silicone. You insert it into the vagina. When it is in place, it covers the cervix.
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How Does the Diaphragm Work?
Diaphragms prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from joining with an egg. In order to be as effective as possible, the diaphragm must be used with spermicide cream, gel, or jelly.
Diaphragms work in two ways:
The diaphragm blocks the opening to the uterus.
The spermicide stops sperm from moving.
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How Effective Is the Diaphragm?
Effectiveness is an important and common concern when choosing a birth control method. Like all birth control methods, the diaphragm is more effective when you use it correctly.
If women always use the diaphragm as directed, 6 out of 100 will become pregnant each year.
If women don't always use the diaphragm as directed, 12 out of 100 will become pregnant each year.
You can make the diaphragm more effective if you
Make sure it covers your cervix before each time you have intercourse.
Make sure spermicide is used as recommended.
Your partner can help you make the diaphragm more effective by using a latex condom or pulling out before ejaculation.
Keep in mind that diaphragms do not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. Use a latex condom to reduce the risk of infection.
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How Safe Is the Diaphragm?
Most women can use the diaphragm safely. But some conditions may make it difficult or impossible for some women to use a diaphragm.
The diaphragm may not be right for you if you
are not comfortable touching your vagina and vulva
are sensitive to silicone or spermicide
gave birth in the last six weeks
have certain physical problems with your uterus or vagina
have difficulty inserting the diaphragm
have frequent urinary tract infections
have a history of toxic shock syndrome
have poor muscle tone in your vagina
recently had surgery on your cervix