A barrier to block sperm.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE FIT
The diaphragm is a simple barrier that stops sperm from reaching the womb. It is a dome-shaped flexible disc with a flexible rim and is made from latex rubber or silicone. It must be inserted into the vagina before you have sex. Wash your hands, fill the diaphragm with spermicide, and add some around the edges to be safe. Then fold it in half and insert it as you would insert a tampon, pushing it up until it covers your cervix.
It can be left in place for up to 24 hours, but if you have sex more than once you should apply more spermicide. You should also leave the diaphragm in for at least 6 hours after sex. Your doctor or nurse may conduct an initial fitting to make sure you have the correct size, but after that, it is up to you. Other than making sure it is inserted properly, you should also check it from time to time to make sure it isn't damaged. You should also have the diaphragm checked by a doctor or nurse after childbirth, or if you lose a significant amount of weight, just to make sure it still fits correctly.
As this is a non-hormonal method, there should be no effect on your fertility.
The diaphragm does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
Typical use means how well the method works in real life and perfect use means how well a method works under 'perfect' or ideal conditions for example when there is no user error at any time.
No. The diaphragm is hormone-free and works best when it is used with spermicide.
EASE OF USE
The diaphragm needs to be placed in the vagina prior to intercourse each time you have sex, and it must be left in place for at least 6 hours after you have sex.
The diaphragm has no impact on menstruation.
NEED ADVICE? SPEAK TO YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL
Seek out an appointment with your doctor or nurse for further support that meets your needs.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 8 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
The Copper Coil is a small, T-shaped plastic frame that has a copper wire. it is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse, where it prevents pregnancy for up to 5 to 10 years.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
Combined Oral Contraceptive Pill (COCP)
COCPs are tablets that may have to be taken every day, releasing the hormone progestogen and oestrogen to prevent pregnancy. They are often referred to as the pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these.
An injection containing a hormone that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 12-13 weeks.
A small, thin, skin-coloured plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Your doctor or nurse will normally conduct an initial fitting to make sure you have the correct size.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom placed in the vagina that stops sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina whilst also helping protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
Progestogen-only Pill (POP)
POPs are tablets which have to be taken every day at the same time with no break between packs. These pills only contain a progestogen hormone and so they can be taken by women for whom oestrogen-containing options are not suitable. They are also known as the mini-pill and you will need a prescription from your healthcare professional for these..
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Spermicides are Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘The pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the fallopian tubes so the egg cannot travel down the tubes to meet the sperm.