How do they work?
A diaphragm is inserted into the vagina before sex, and it covers the cervix so that sperm can’t get into the womb. You need to use spermicide with it (spermicides kill sperm). The diaphragm must be left in place for at least six hours after sex. After that time you take out the diaphragm and wash it. They’re reuseable.
Diaphragms come in different sizes. You must be fitted for the correct size by a trained doctor or nurse.
How effective are they?
If used correctly with spermicide, diaphragms are 92-96% effective. This means that between four and eight women out of every 100 who use a diaphragm as a contraceptive will become pregnant in a year.
* There are no serious health risks, and you only have to think about it when you have sex.
* You can put them in several hours before you have sex.
What else should I know?
* It can take time to learn how to use them. Some women develop cystitis when they use diaphragms. Your doctor or nurse can check the size (switching to a smaller size may help).
* If you lose or gain more than 3kg (7lbs) in weight, or have a baby, miscarriage or abortion, you may need to be fitted with a new diaphragm.
By using condoms as well as a diaphragm, you’ll help to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections