IT’S ALL ABOUT A GOOD 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.
EFFICACY WITH PERFECT USE
The diaphragm is 94% effective with “perfect use” meaning that 6 women out of every 100 using this method for one year will become pregnant.
The diaphragm is mostly self-administered with is available direct from your pharmacy without a prescription. If used perfectly every time – fitted correctly and used with spermicide – the diaphragm is a fairly effective, non-hormone contraceptive method.
EFFICACY WITH TYPICAL USE
The diaphragm is 88% effective with “typical use” meaning that 12 women out of every 100 using this method for one year will become pregnant.
The diaphragm is usually self-administered. It requires proper placement, and the use of spermicides, to work most effectively. We're all human and we're not all perfect all the time, and with typical use the diaphragm is fairly effective.
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.