RisksBy Mayo Clinic Staff
The diaphragm doesn't offer reliable protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
In a year of typical use of the diaphragm and spermicide, an estimated 21 out of 100 women will get pregnant. Without the use of spermicide, however, an estimated 29 out of 100 women will get pregnant in a 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 rarely 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:
May 14, 2015
- The diaphragm slips out of place when you walk, sneeze, cough or strain
- 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, muscle aches or a rash that looks like sunburn
- You're unable to remove the diaphragm
- Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media; 2011:391.
- Barrier methods of contraception: Diaphragm, sponge, cervical cap and condom. Washington D.C. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 2014.
- Barbieri RL. Barrier contraception: Diaphragm. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 13, 2014.