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Diaphragm Use and Care

How do you use a diaphragm?

Using a diaphragm involves several steps to ensure effective contraception. Here’s a general guide:

  1. Wash your hands: Before handling the diaphragm, wash your hands with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Check the diaphragm: Inspect the diaphragm for any holes or damage. Fill it with spermicide to ensure it is airtight.
  3. Apply spermicide: Add about a teaspoon of spermicidal jelly or cream to the inside of the diaphragm and around the rim.
  4. Find a comfortable position: You can stand with one foot on a chair, sit on the edge of a bed, or lie down. Choose a position that allows you to easily reach your vagina.
  5. Insert the diaphragm: Hold the diaphragm with the spermicide facing up and squeeze the rim together. Insert it into your vagina, aiming for the back of the vagina so it covers the cervix.
  6. Check the placement: Use your finger to ensure the diaphragm covers the cervix and is in place behind the pubic bone.
  7. Check for comfort: You should not feel the diaphragm once it’s in place. If you feel discomfort, it may not be positioned correctly.
  8. Leave it in place: The diaphragm can be left in place for up to 24 hours. If you have sex again, add more spermicide before each act of intercourse.
  9. Removing the diaphragm: To remove the diaphragm, insert your finger into the vagina and hook it under the rim. Gently pull the diaphragm downward and out.
  10. Cleaning the diaphragm: Wash the diaphragm with mild soap and warm water. Dry it thoroughly before storing it in its case.

It’s important to follow the instructions provided with your diaphragm and to visit your healthcare provider for a proper fitting.

How well do diaphragms work?

Diaphragms, when used correctly with spermicide, can be an effective form of contraception. However, their effectiveness depends on several factors, including proper use and consistency.

Typically, the diaphragm is about 88% effective with typical use, meaning that out of 100 women using the diaphragm for a year, about 12 may become pregnant. With perfect use, the effectiveness rate can be higher, around 94%.

To maximize effectiveness, it’s important to follow the instructions provided with the diaphragm, use it with spermicide, and ensure it is inserted correctly before each instance of intercourse. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to ensure proper fit and usage are also recommended.

What are the pros and cons of diaphragm use?

Diaphragms can be a convenient and effective form of contraception for some people, but they also have their pros and cons. Here are some of the main pros and cons of using a diaphragm:

Pros:

  1. Non-hormonal: Diaphragms do not contain hormones, making them a good option for people who prefer non-hormonal contraception.
  2. Reversible: Unlike some forms of contraception, such as sterilization, diaphragms are reversible. You can stop using them at any time if you decide to become pregnant.
  3. No interruption of spontaneity: Once the diaphragm is in place, you can have sex as many times as you like without needing to take additional steps.
  4. Fewer side effects: Compared to hormonal methods, diaphragms typically have fewer side effects.

Cons:

  1. Requires planning: Diaphragms need to be inserted before sex, which may require some planning and interrupt spontaneity.
  2. Effectiveness can vary: The effectiveness of diaphragms can vary depending on how well they are used and whether they are used with spermicide.
  3. Possible allergic reaction: Some people may be allergic to latex or the spermicide used with the diaphragm.
  4. Does not protect against STIs: Diaphragms do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It’s important to use condoms in addition to the diaphragm if you are at risk of STIs.

Overall, the diaphragm can be a good option for people looking for a non-hormonal, reversible form of contraception, but it may not be the best choice for everyone. It’s important to discuss your options with a healthcare provider to determine the best method of contraception for your individual needs.

Where do I get a diaphragm?

You can get a diaphragm from several places, including:

  1. Healthcare provider: Your healthcare provider can provide you with a diaphragm, as well as fitting and instructions on how to use it.
  2. Family planning clinic: Family planning clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, often offer diaphragms and related services.
  3. Pharmacy: Some pharmacies may carry diaphragms, although availability can vary.
  4. Online: You can also purchase diaphragms online, but it’s important to ensure that you are buying from a reputable source.

Before getting a diaphragm, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if it’s the right choice for you and to get fitted for the correct size.

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About the Author: John Scott

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