A diaphragm is a form of birth control device that can be up to 94% effective at birth control when used correctly. It’s a small, flexible dome-shaped device that is inserted into the vagina before intercourse to block the cervix and prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. Are diaphragms effective at preventing pregnancy?
To say whether or not it’s the right birth control method, it has to be used correctly. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know on how to use your diaphragm, along with the answer to “are diaphragms effective at preventing pregnancy?”
How to Insert a Diaphragm
1. Select the Right Size
It’s important to get the right size diaphragm for your body. A healthcare provider can help you determine the correct size by measuring your cervix.
2. Apply Spermicide
Before inserting the diaphragm, apply a small amount of spermicide inside and around the wide seal rim of the diaphragm.
3. Insert the Diaphragm
Fold the diaphragm in half so that it’s easy to insert. Note that if you have a strong vaginal muscle tone or an average vaginal muscle tone, it’s easy to hold it in the right place.
Squeeze the folded diaphragm together and put it into the vagina open, pushing it as far back as possible. When inserted correctly the diaphragm should be positioned behind the pubic bone and covering the cervix. You can also use a diaphragm introducer tool.
4. Check the Position
After inserting the diaphragm correctly, make sure it’s in the correct position (behind the pubic bone and covering the cervix) by gently running your index finger around the wide seal rim diaphragm to ensure it’s covering the cervix.
5. Leave the Diaphragm in Place
The same diaphragm can be left in place for up to 24 hours. It must be left in place for at least six hours after the last intercourse.
6. Remove the Diaphragm
To remove the diaphragm, gently hook your index finger under the front rim and gently pull it out.
7. Clean the Diaphragm
Rinse the diaphragm with mild soap and warm water before storing it in a cool, dry place.
It’s important to note that diaphragms do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and they must be used in conjunction with spermicide for maximum effectiveness. Replacement of diaphragms every two years is recommended. With the proper use and care, a diaphragm birth control device can be an effective and convenient barrier form.
Make sure to clean the diaphragm thoroughly, and allow it to air dry before storing it in its designated container. Store it in a cool and dry location. Use water or silicone-based lubricants instead of oil-based lubricants, if necessary, to prevent pregnancy.
Diaphragm and Spermicide
When using a diaphragm as a form of contraception, it’s important to use a spermicide to increase the effectiveness of the device. Spermicide is a chemical that kills sperm, and when used in combination with a diaphragm, it creates a barrier that physically and chemically blocks sperm from reaching the egg.
Using spermicide is a simple process, but it’s important to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Most types of spermicide come in a gel or cream form, and they are typically inserted into the vagina using an applicator. The applicator is used to insert the spermicide close to the cervix, which is where the diaphragm will sit.
Spermicide should be inserted into the vagina close to the cervix before the diaphragm is inserted. This allows the spermicide to start working before intercourse, increasing the effectiveness of the device. Additionally, it’s important to reapply spermicide after intercourse, as the diaphragm can move and the spermicide may not be as effective.
Spermicide is used with other contraceptive methods such as condoms, but it should not be used as a standalone method of contraception. It’s also important to note that spermicide can cause vaginal irritation, vaginal pain, or even allergic reactions in some individuals, so it’s important to test the product on a small area of skin before use and consult with a healthcare provider if you experience any adverse reactions.
Diaphragm vs. Cervical Cap
Diaphragm vs cervical cover is a common topic of discussion when it comes to a barrier method of contraception. Both are small, reusable dome-shaped cup devices that are inserted into the vagina to physically block the sperm from reaching the egg. But there are some key differences to keep in mind when considering which of the barrier methods is right for you.
The diaphragm is a larger device than the cervical cover, and it is designed to fit snugly against the cervix. It is typically made of silicone or rubber and must be used with spermicide for maximum effectiveness. On the other hand, the cervical cover is a smaller device that is designed to fit snugly over the cervix. It is typically made of silicone or latex and must also be used with spermicide for maximum effectiveness.
Both diaphragms and cervical caps are highly effective when used correctly and consistently, with diaphragms having an effectiveness rate of up to 94% and cervical caps of up to 91%.
However, typical use, which takes into account human error and inconsistent use, results in a 12% failure rate for diaphragms and a 16% failure rate for cervical caps. They are not suitable for women who have had previous childbirth, or women who have had an abnormal pap smear.
When it comes to using a diaphragm as a form of contraception, one important factor to consider is the size of the diaphragm. Finding the right size diaphragm is crucial for maximum effectiveness and comfort during use.
Diaphragms come in different sizes, and it’s important to find the right fit for your body. A healthcare provider can help determine the appropriate size for you by measuring the diameter of your cervix. This measurement will help determine the size of the diaphragm needed to fit snugly over the cervix and effectively block sperm from reaching the egg.
Keep in mind that diaphragm sizes can change over time, particularly after childbirth or significant weight gain or loss. Therefore, it’s recommended that you have your diaphragm size re-checked every time you visit your healthcare provider.
When purchasing a diaphragm, it’s important to make sure that it’s made of safe and high-quality materials such as silicone or rubber. It’s also important to always use a diaphragm with spermicide for maximum effectiveness. Always use a diaphragm correctly to increase its effectiveness rate.
Diaphragm and Side Effects
If you want to use a diaphragm consistently as a form of contraception, one important factor to consider is the cost. While diaphragms are available at most healthcare providers, it’s important to understand that they may not be covered by insurance and can be a significant out-of-pocket expense.
The cost of a diaphragm can vary depending on several factors, such as the brand, the material it’s made from, and the location of the purchase. On average, the cost of a diaphragm can range from $15 to $75. It’s also important to note that diaphragms need to be replaced every one to two years, adding to the overall cost of use.
Spermicide, which is required to use with a diaphragm for maximum effectiveness, can also add to the cost. The cost of spermicide can range from $5 to $25 per package.
It’s important to check with your healthcare provider or insurance company to see if the cost of a diaphragm and spermicide is covered. Many insurance plans do cover the cost of contraception, but it’s important to check the specific coverage and any restrictions that may apply.
There are also several organizations that provide low-cost or free diaphragms to those in need. These organizations may be able to provide diaphragms at a reduced cost or even for free, depending on the location and the organization.
Diaphragm and HIV prevention
When it comes to preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), many people may wonder if a diaphragm can be used as an effective method of protection. The short answer is no, diaphragms do not protect against STIs.
While diaphragms do a great job at birth control, they do not protect against HIV and other STIs. HIV and other STIs are spread through the exchange of bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. A diaphragm does not prevent the exchange of these fluids, so it cannot protect against STIs.
That being said, always using the diaphragm in combination with male condoms can provide added protection against both pregnancy and STIs. This helps greatly in pregnancy prevention. Condoms act as a physical barrier that prevents the exchange of bodily fluids.
So, using a diaphragm correctly and a male condom together can provide a double layer of protection. Regular testing for STIs is an important part of sexual health, regardless of the methods of contraception used. Regular testing can help to detect any STIs early on and get them treated quickly.
Diaphragm and UTIs
When it comes to preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs), many people may wonder if a diaphragm can be used as an effective method of protection. The short answer is no, diaphragms cannot help to prevent urinary tract infections or frequent urinary tract infections.
Instead, it has been noticed in various studies that women who use diaphragms are more susceptible to UTIs.
UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract and infecting the bladder, urethra, or kidneys. Bacteria can enter the urinary tract through the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body.
Keep in mind that diaphragms are not a substitute for good hygiene practices. Properly cleaning the genitals before and after intercourse, and urinating after intercourse can also help to prevent UTIs. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding products that increase vaginal irritation, such as douches and powders, can also help to prevent UTIs. Diaphragms are not recommended for women who are prone to UTIs.
Diaphragm and Emergency Contraception
When it comes to emergency contraception, many people may wonder if a diaphragm can be used as an emergency contraceptive method. The short answer is no, a diaphragm is not an effective form of emergency contraception. It is not intended to be used as an emergency contraceptive method. Emergency contraceptive methods are specifically designed to be used after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure, for birth control.
Emergency contraceptive methods include emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) and copper intrauterine devices (IUDs). These methods are highly effective in birth control, with ECPs being up to 89% effective and copper IUDs being up to 99% effective.
It’s worth noting that diaphragms, when used correctly and consistently, can be an effective form of contraception, with a 12% failure rate. However, it is important to note that diaphragms do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and must be used in conjunction with spermicide for maximum effectiveness.
If you have had unprotected intercourse or experienced a contraceptive failure, it’s important to seek out emergency contraception as soon as possible. ECPs can be taken up to 72 hours after unprotected intercourse, while copper IUDs can be inserted up to 5 days after unprotected intercourse.
Also, regular use of emergency contraceptive methods is not recommended, as it does not provide the same level of protection as a regular form of birth control methods such as pills, injections, or the IUD. It is always better to use a regular form of contraception that reduces the risk of pregnancy.
How to Clean a Diaphragm
The first step in cleaning your diaphragm is to rinse it thoroughly with warm water immediately after use. This will help remove any excess spermicide or other debris that may have accumulated during intercourse.
It’s important to note that you should not use soap or any other cleaning agents on your diaphragm as they can damage the material and decrease its effectiveness.
After rinsing your diaphragm, you can then gently scrub the inside and outside of the device with a soft-bristled brush. This will help remove any remaining debris and ensure that the diaphragm is clean and free from any bacteria. It’s also important to clean the firm rim of the diaphragm, as this is the part that sits against the cervix and can accumulate debris.
Well, by now you can say a lot about what diaphragms can and cannot do. A diaphragm can surely be used as a measure to prevent pregnancy by creating a barrier around the cervix to stop the sperm from mating with the eggs.As an Amazon Associate, Icy Health earns from qualifying purchases.