A diaphragm is a non-hormonal barrier method of contraception. It is made of a soft plastic called silicone that is inserted into the vagina. It acts by blocking the sperm from reaching the egg. The diaphragm is 85% effective at preventing pregnancy.
Diaphragms come in many sizes. Your doctor will determine which size is the best for you by evaluating the vaginal canal and inserting a sample device. You will then receive a prescription for the correctly sized device to take to your local pharmacy.
When using your diaphragm:
- Put a tablespoon of spermicide jelly in the dome
- Fold the diaphragm with your hand
- Push the diaphragm into the vagina as far as you can
- Leave the diaphragm in place for 6 hours after intercourse
- To remove it, hook your finger around the edge and pull it down and out
- Rinse the diaphragm with warm soapy water and store it in its case
You can use your diaphragm for years as long as it doesn’t develop any cracks or holes. You may need a new size if you have had:
- A baby
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Pelvic surgery