The diaphragm doesn't offer reliable protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

An estimated 16 out of 100 women will get pregnant in the first year of typical use of the diaphragm.

Consistent and correct use is essential to the effectiveness of the diaphragm. For example, you may get pregnant when using a diaphragm if:

  • You don't use the diaphragm every time you have sex
  • The diaphragm becomes dislodged from the cervix during sex
  • You don't use spermicide
  • You remove the diaphragm within six hours after having sex

Spermicide applied to the diaphragm may damage the cells lining the vagina, causing:

  • An increased risk of contracting STIs
  • Vaginal irritation
  • Urinary tract or vaginal infection

Contact your health care provider if:

  • The diaphragm slips out of place when you walk, sneeze, cough or strain
  • You notice blood on the diaphragm after you remove it that isn't related to your period
  • You or your partner experience pain during or following use of the diaphragm
  • You have signs or symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, such as sudden high fever, diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, fainting or a rash that looks like sunburn
  • You're unable to remove the diaphragm
Jan. 21, 2012