Diaphragm

A diaphragm (pronounced: dai·uh·fram) is a shallow, dome-shaped cup made of silicone. There are two brands: Caya® and Milex®, currently available on the US market. How it works: You place this into the vagina, then it covers the cervix and keeps sperm out of the uterus. It’s effective immediately, can be put in hours before sex, and doesn’t affect your hormones. One important thing to remember: for a diaphragm to work effectively, you need to use it with spermicide.

88%
Effective

Lasts 1 Use

Considerations

No STI Protection

The diaphragm does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV (if left untreated, can cause AIDS). You should use a condom each time you have sex to prevent against STIs.

› Hands On

If you’re not okay with putting your fingers inside yourself, a diaphragm probably isn’t for you. It’s a lot like placing a menstrual cup or a tampon without an applicator — if you can do that, you can probably manage a diaphragm.

› It Takes Discipline

You’ve got to remember to insert your diaphragm and spermicide every time before you have sex, so it takes a bit of thinking ahead. But at least you can carry it with you if you want.

› Allergy Issues

If you’re allergic to silicone or spermicide, you shouldn’t use a diaphragm.

› The pregnancy question

You’ve got to remember to insert your diaphragm and spermicide every time before you have sex, so it takes a bit of thinking ahead. But at least you can carry it with you if you want.

› have a back-up

Many folks use a diaphragm with another birth control method. In the case of an emergency (like method failure), consider using emergency contraception and talk to your provider.

Where Can I Get One?

If you want to get one, it may be a good idea to call your provider or pharmacy in advance to make sure they have diaphragms in stock.