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What's the Deal With the Diaphragm?

What's the Deal With the Diaphragm?

I've been talking a lot about many forms of birth control including hormonal ones like the Pill, the Patch, and Depo-Provera, and about barrier methods like the male and female condom. A diaphragm is another form of barrier method, which prevents sperm from getting to your precious eggs.

It is a shallow, bowl-shaped piece of rubber with a flexible rim that fits over your vagina and covers the cervix so sperm can't reach your uterus. Your vaginal muscles keep it in place.


  • You need to get fitted for one by your gynecologist, but once you have it, and if you take care of it properly, it should last 1-2 years.
  • It usually can't be felt during sex by either partner.
  • You can keep it inside you for up to 24 hours.
  • It doesn't change your menstrual cycle.
  • It doesn't affect future fertility.
  • There are unfortunately many disadvantages so click here to


    • It's only 84% effective at preventing pregnancy.
    • It doesn't protect you against STIs.
    • You have to use it with spermicide, which can be messy and irritating to some women.
    • More spermicide has to be added every time you have sex.
    • You have to leave it inside you for at least 6 hours after intercourse
    • If the diaphragm is left in place for more than 24 hours, the woman runs the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
    • It's possible that the diaphragm can become dislodged during sex. If that happens, there's a chance you could become pregnant.
    • It may cause UTIs.
    • If you gain or lose 10 pounds, you may need to be fitted for a new size.

    If you are in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone you know is disease free, this could be a great option for you. Although the fact that it's only 84% effective at preventing pregnancy doesn't make me want to jump up and get one! Talk to your gynecologist about whether a diaphragm is right for you.

    Dear's Advice: The natural hormones in a female body affect the position of her cervix throughout her cycle. To ensure a proper fit, women should make sure that she is fitted mid-cycle at the time of ovulation, when her cervix is the highest.


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Join The Conversation
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
Whenever I think of diaphragms, I think of when Carrie got hers stuck in Sex and the City and Samantha had to get it out for her.
Sofiababy Sofiababy 8 years
AHHH that thing is beyond scary. i could NEVER. the ring seems far fetched to me (my friends' have come out, you have to insert it yourself, etc..) but having to put it in before sex? how sexy is that. ["let me just go put my diaphram in first honey"] im sorry but this method just feels ancient to me.
nessabum nessabum 8 years
you're right, Dear, the 84% effectiveness doesn't instill the sudden need to jump up and get one. it's too low and too risky. and TSS?! that's the first time i heard that diaphragms can do that...
DearSugar DearSugar 8 years
You fill it with spermicide, gently pinch it in half and then use your fingers to push it into your vagina. You want to it cover your cervix properly, so you also use your fingers to check to make sure it's in place. For a more detailed description of how to insert a diaphragm, check out this website.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 8 years
How do you get it up there? Haha I'm confused I guess. I don't think I'd use this either.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
Hmmm I dunno if I would use one...
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