Diaphragm Birth Control Method


Table Of Contents

What is a Diaphragm?

A diaphragm is a single piece of dome shaped silicon which is inserted into the vagina and covers the cervix.

How does Prevent Pregnancy?

Diaphragms prevent pregnancy by forming a barrier between the vagina and the cervix, thereby preventing sperm from accessing an egg and causing impregnation. It is typically used with spermicide in order to immobilize sperm, increasing its effectiveness.

What Are the Benefits?

The benefits are as follows:

  • Easy to use
  • No effect on hormones
  • Does not interrupt or interfere with sex as it can be inserted hours beforehand
  • No prescription required
  • Comfortable to the point of not being noticeable for both partners
  • A one-time purchase can be used for up to 2 years
  • Reversible at any time

What Are the Disadvantages?

Some women may have difficulty inserting the diaphragm, especially those who are not comfortable touching their vulva or vagina. It may need to undergo refitting.

There is also a risk of it being pushed out of its proper position by certain positions or coming in contact with larger than average penises.

They may not be right for some women based on the conditions of their vagina and medical history.

How Effective are they?

The diagram is effective in prevent pregnancy if it is used correctly. Among women who always use them correctly, 6 out of 100 will become pregnant through the course of a year. Among women who may not always use them correctly, 12 out of 100 will become pregnant through the course of a year.

The diaphragm can be more effective if you:

  • Making sure that spermicide is used (as recommended)
  • The diaphragm is covering the cervix before each time you have intercourse

To increase the effectiveness, your partner can pull out before ejaculation or use a condom. Keep in mind that this method does not protect you against STI.

How Safe are they?

While they are completely safe for most people, some may not be able to use them safely. Please contact a health care professional if you have any further questions about safety.

This method may not be right if you have:

  • Sensitivities to spermicide
  • Are not comfortable or have difficulty touching their vagina
  • Have recently given birth or had an abortion

You may want to seek other birth control options.

Women with certain conditions might not be able to use this method which includes:

  • Vaginal conditions including poor muscle tone
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • History of toxic shock syndrome
  • Recent cervical surgery
  • Other physical problems are not recommended to use one.

How to Use One


  • Ensure that your hands are clean
  • Apply spermicide to the inside of the dome and around the rim
  • Get in a comfortable position to insert the diaphragm
  • While spreading the labia with one hand, pinch and fold it in half with the other
  • Insert it deep into your vagina until it completely covers your cervix


  • Ensure that your hands are clean
  • To break suction – hook a figure over the top of the rim
  • After breaking suction, easily remove it by pulling it down and out

If you are having trouble inserting and removing or need help with placement, a special inserted can be used. If you are still having trouble, please talk to a health care professional.

For more information on how to use a one click here to view step by step instructions with illustrations.

Tips for Using

You can properly maintain your diaphragm by washing it with mild soap and water between uses.

Do not use it with powders or oil based lubricants.

Regularly ensure that your diaphragm is in working order by inspecting it for any holes, cracks or wrinkles. If you find any of these, stop using the diaphragm as it has lost its effectiveness. A new one can easily be purchased at a clinic or a drug store with a prescription.

The cost of the examination can be anywhere from $0-200 and each diaphragm can average between $0-75. The extra materials needed such as creams, jelly or spermicide will cost $0-17/kit.

Diaphragms are best used with spermicide and can be combined with condom use for extra effectiveness.