A diaphragm is a rubber dome-shaped cup that covers the cervix, the opening to the uterus. The diaphragm blocks the man's semen from entering the cervix. A spermicide placed into the diaphragm kills sperm and physically blocks the cervix. Consistent and correct use results in a 93% effectiveness rate in preventing pregnancy.
- Can be used during breastfeeding.
- Easily carried in pocket or purse.
- Generally cannot be felt by either partner.
- Immediately effective and reversible.
- No effect on a woman's natural hormones.
- No interruption of sex play - can be inserted hours ahead of time.
- May reduce the risk of cervical infections, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papilloma virus, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Cannot be used during menstruation.
- May be difficult for some women to insert.
- May be pushed out of place by some sexual positions, penis sizes, thrusting techniques and angles.
- Must be in place every time a woman has vaginal intercourse. Must be left in place for 6 hours after the last act of intercourse and no longer than 24 hours to prevent toxic shock syndrome.
- May increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
- May cause an allergic reaction or irritation related to latex or spermicide.
- May need to be refitted for the following reasons:
• A full term pregnancy
• Abdominal or pelvic surgery
• A miscarriage or abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy
• Excessive weight gain or weight loss