The diaphragm contraceptive is a birth control device that is a dome shaped soft substance usually made of latex with a spring inside the rim. It works when inserted inside the vagina and acts as a barrier between the cervix and an impending penis. The spring fits snugly against the walls of the vagina and when inserted correclty is not felt by the woman, or prodding penis.
A big draw card for using the contraceptive diaphragm is that it is an excellent alternative for women who have problems using condoms (such as those who suffer from an allergic reaction) or for those who are unable to use other forms of contraception like the pill or a birth control injection. The biggest draw back to the vaginal diaphragm though, is that some women can find it difficult to insert and remove or don’t like the idea of having to insert their finger in to their vagina to place or retrieve it, which can take some practice getting used to.
The diagphragm contraceptive is soft and very flexible and with practice and patience for the most part, can easily be folded and inserted in to the vagina without too much fuss. For complete protection, it must also be used in conjunction with a spermicial cream or gel. This is done to prevent sperm from accumulating around the walls of the diaphragm and therefore gives you the best protection possible. A diaphragm contraceptive without the spermicidal cream might not be as effective in preventing pregnancy.
Types of Diaphragms
There are two kinds of diaphragms:
- A Flat Ring Diaphragm: This type of vaginal diaphragm can be folded like an oval and then easily inserted. An applicator is also provided with it, which makes insertion a little more easier.
- An Arcing or Coil Spring Diaphragm: This type of diaphragm is a little hard to fold and forms an irregular circle when folded. However this diaphragm can be inserted with the fingers.
As every woman has a different vaginal size, diaphragms are also available in many sizes. For the best fit the diaphragm contraceptive should be fitted by a doctor or gynacologist.
The diaphragm needs to be placed high up in your vagina so that it completely covers the cervix. The top end of the dome should go behind your cervix, and the bottom end of the dome should be affixed behind your pubic bone.
You will know when the diaphragm has been correctly placed as it will feel comfortable for you, and neither you or your parnter will be able to feel it during intercourse.
Removing the diaphragm requires a quick hook of your finger around the tip, allowing you to draw it out from inside.
After taking it out, it should be washed, dried and stored inside it’s box so as to avoid the chances of any infection while using it the next time.
Advantages Of Using The Contraception Diaphragm
There advantages of using the contraceptive diaphragm include :
- You can insert the diaphragm anytime before having sex that day. But if it is to be inserted for more than three hours then it should be applied with some extra spermicide before penetration.
- Unlike other contraception methods such as the pill, the diaphragm does not have any effect on a woman’s natural hormones.
- The barrier method of contraception is reversible so the fertility of the woman immediately returns upon removal.
The diaphragm is particularly useful when having sex on your period. It works as a barrier to block blood from escpaing which is partially useful if your guy gets queasy at the sight of blood. However, some will advise not to use it during your period.
It has very few side effects.
Disadvantages Of The Contraception Diaphragm
- The diaphragm must be used with spermicide for it to be most effective.
- If by mistake, the diaphragm stays inside your vagina for more than 24 hours, then you can put yourself at risk of catching a bacterial infection called toxic shock syndrome(TSS).
- Some women have reported mild allergic reactions to the latex or the applied spermicide.
- Some women find this method messy and inconvenient.
- The diaphragm does requires some pre-planning. It has to be in place before sex, however this pre-planning really isn’t any differnt from a man putting on a condom.
Diahragm birth control is not for everyone, and it’s a device that women tend to love or hate. Most notably due to the fact that it has advantages and disadvantages which are quite contrasting as opposed to other forms of birth control. Consult your doctor if think that the diaphragm contraceptive is the right choice for you.