The diaphragm helps prevent pregnancy. Among various benefits, the diaphragm:
- Allows prompt return to fertility
- Can be used as a backup method of birth control
- Can be used during breast-feeding beginning six weeks after childbirth
- Can be inserted up to six hours before sex and left in place for up to 24 hours
- Doesn't require a partner's cooperation
- Has few if any side effects
The diaphragm isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage use of the diaphragm if you:
Jan. 21, 2012
- Are allergic to silicone, latex or spermicide
- Are at high risk of or have HIV/AIDS
- Are at high risk of pregnancy — you're younger than age 30, you have sex three or more times a week, you've had previous contraceptive failure with vaginal barrier methods or you're not likely to consistently use the diaphragm
- Have vaginal abnormalities that interfere with the fit, placement or retention of the diaphragm
- Have a vaginal or pelvic infection
- Have frequent urinary tract infections
- Have a history of toxic shock syndrome
- Have significant pelvic organ prolapse, such as uterine prolapse — when the uterus descends into the vagina from its normal position in the pelvis
- Recently gave birth or had a miscarriage or an abortion
- Barbieri RL. How to fit and use a diaphragm for contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Choosing a method of birth control. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. http://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Quick-Reference-Guide-for-Clinicians/choosing/Cervical-Cap. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Birth control methods fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Barrier methods of contraception. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/faq/faq022.cfm. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Diaphragm fact sheet. Office of Population Affairs. http://www.hhs.gov/opa/reproductive-health/contraception/diaphragm/. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Cates W, et al. Vaginal barriers and spermicides. In: Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media, Inc.; 2011:391.
- Ortho all-flex diaphragm fitting set. Titusville, N.J.: Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc.; 2008. http://www.janssenpharmaceuticalsinc.com/our-products/product-list. Accessed Nov. 17, 2011.
- Female-controlled barrier methods. In: Zieman M, et al. A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception. Tiger, Ga.: Bridging the Gap Communications; 2010:63.