Diaphragm Birth Control: Exactly How Diaphragms Prevent Pregnancy


A diaphragm is placed inside your vagina and it overlays and shelters your cervical orifice during sexual intercourse preventing you from conceiving a baby.  This is a cuplike shallow structure, which you can bend to fit into your vaginal cavity if you want to experience exactly how diaphragms prevent pregnancy.

If you want to understand the utility values of this birth control apparatus, and how to apply it for positive results continue reading this diaphragm birth control reviews.

Diaphragm Birth Control Reviews

Diaphragm Birth Control Reviews

What is a diaphragm birth control? A diaphragm birth control is a type of contraceptive made of soft silicone material, shaped like a small saucer or a shallow cup, which you can fix into your cervical orifice to prevent pregnancy. This device is made to pose a barrier to the male reproductive cells during intercourse, as

the semen will not be able to bypass it and fertilize the ovaries in the womb.

However, a diaphragm alone cannot prevent pregnancy but it must be combined with spermicide, a contraceptive element that you apply on the diaphragm capable of destroying sperm cells. Research has proved that ninety-five percent of unwanted pregnancies could be averted if this structure is used properly.

Let us understand the types of diaphragm birth control devices available for women.

Types of Diaphragm Birth Control Devices

There are different types of diaphragm birth control devices such as flat spring diaphragm, arching spring diaphragm, coil spring diaphragm, and wide seal rim diaphragm.  These diaphragms are available in various sizes but the normal size measures 75 millimeters in diameter.  For a befitting size, you can consult your healthcare provider, who can conduct a manual examination of your vaginal orifice to determine the actual size for you.

The Flat Spring Diaphragm

A flat spring diaphragm is suitable for women with strong cervical muscular nature and tenor. This birth control device can best be applied with an introducer since it has a flexible and thin rim.

Wide Seal Rim Diaphragm

Types of Diaphragm Birth Control

Are you allergic to latex or rubber materials? This type of diaphragm is most suitable for ladies that are allergic to latex or rubber materials. This sensitivity will make other forms of diaphragm birth control measures difficult for them to use. Moreover, you will get this type of diaphragms in coil spring shapes or arching spring shapes.

Arching Spring Diaphragm

This is the most common type of birth control diaphragm available everywhere. Arching spring diaphragm is ideal for women whose cervical muscular nature is very poor. Therefore, you can insert it easily with little or no discomfort.

Coil Spring Diaphragm

The coil spring diaphragm is most beneficial for women with ordinary and average cervical muscular nature and tenor. This is because the rim is very soft and flexible too.

Mode of Usage and Application

Mode of Usage and Application

Have you ever used a diaphragm as a birth control measure? Normally, when you are buying the diaphragm, a doctor will give you his prescriptions on how to use or insert the device into your vagina properly. Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions that can help you to enjoy intercourse using this birth control apparatus.

  • Rub a small portion of spermicide on the cuplike silicone, about a teaspoon quantity around the rim or corner.
  • Bend the diaphragm into two in a way that the two parts of the rims will be touching each other and ensure that the curve is facing downwards.
  • Carefully open the vagina with the other hand, if you can fix it alone or ask your partner or doctor to help you.
  • Gently push the bent diaphragm into your vagina as far as you can, directing it towards your tailbone or anal region.
  • Using a finger thrust the visible rim of the diaphragm up at the back of your pubic bone.

After these procedures, you can crosscheck the position of the diaphragm in your vagina by

putting your finger on the dome. Now, you can sense it in your cervix but it will not affect your bones. Don’t panic.

Further, on this, after checking it and you notice that the device is not fitted properly inside your vagina, you can remove it and fix again. Do not forget to always apply the spermicide whenever you want to use the diaphragm.

Important Notice:

For the best results, you must fix the diaphragm into your vagina at least one hour before intercourse. Then, after the sexual thrills, do not remove it until after about six hours to ensure ejaculation does not flow into your ovaries for fertilization to occur. All the same, the diaphragm should not be left in your vagina for a period of twenty-four hours to avoid further complications.

Anyhow, if you still want to enjoy sex before the expiration of six hours, do not remove the diaphragm; you can simply reapply more spermicide into the vagina. Additionally, do not forget that sexually transmitted diseases can be acquired even if you are using diaphragms. However, using condoms with diaphragms can provide an added protection against STDs and unwanted pregnancies.Here is the video about internal diaphragms birth control.

The Pros and Cons of Diaphragm Birth Control


  • A diaphragm is portable and can be carried in your purse or bag and used for sex anywhere.
  • You or your partner will not feel this device during sexual intercourse.
  • Does not affect the hormones or other biochemical processes in your body.
  • You do not need to visit your doctor regularly before using a diaphragm.
  • This silicone cuplike structure can be applied to your vagina at least one hour before intercourse.
  • Inserting it is very easy and safe and removing it too.
  • A diaphragm gives a woman confidence during sexual intercourse making her believe that she will not have an unwanted pregnancy.
  • It is a more user-friendly device than an intra-uterine device (IUD) and other hormonal medications.
  • The diaphragm birth control is safe for a woman to use during breastfeeding.


  • A diaphragm needs to be carefully inserted for some hours before each sexual intercourse.
  • It is usually difficult to insert, you may need the help of your partner or a doctor.
  • Heavy thrusting, size of the penis and sexual positions can affect the position of the diaphragm in the vagina.

Endeavor to replace your diaphragm after every one to two years. Moreover, do not forget to re-insert it after your gestational period. You can also start using the device after abortion, miscarriage, pelvic surgery or abdominal surgery. Most importantly, do not apply petroleum jelly on your diaphragm in order to avoid wear and tear that will cause leakages.

Health Issues Associated with the Use of Diaphragm Birth Control

Using diaphragm birth control devices during sexual intercourse can actually prevent pregnancy but some health issues or side effects may occur.  A quick look at these health challenges in order to understand what you can do to get relief from them if they occur in any way after using a diaphragm birth control.

Vaginal Irritation and Urinary Tract Infections

Diaphragm Birth Control effect

Most of the time after using this device, some women have noticed some irritation in their vaginal cavity due to chemical reactions between silicone material, which the diaphragm is made of and spermicide applied on it to prevent pregnancy.

However, if this condition occurs, what you can do immediately is to discontinue using the spermicide or you can try another spermicide gel as well.

On the other hand, using diaphragm birth control can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) but if you can urinate before sexual intercourse and after the sexual act, the chances of contacting UTIs will be greatly minimized.

Additionally, some spermicides are made of nonoxynol-9, which can cause irritation in the vagina if it is used many times in a day.  Again, if one of the partners has HIV, using this birth controlling method will definitely enhance the chances of the other person contacting STIs. Always consult your doctor if you have health concerns such as vaginal irritation and Urinary Tract Infections.

The Issue of Toxic Shock Syndrome  

Leaving the device in your body for more than 24 hours would lead to a condition regarded as toxic shock syndrome (TSS).  However, if you notice some occurrences in your body, you may start suspecting that it is toxic shock syndrome. These issues include abnormal spotting or hemorrhage, irregular discharges from the vagina, sensations of burning whenever you are urinating,   genital irritation, high fever, pain or discomfort while using the diaphragm, and swollen or red vulva.

Diaphragm Birth Control Effectiveness

How can you prove the effectiveness of the diaphragm? Whenever you fix your diaphragm birth control well into your vaginal area and use it perfectly during sex, you can boldly say it is effective. In this case, it will be about ninety-five percent effective in preventing pregnancy.

However, experientially, most women have gotten pregnant after using a diaphragm birth control device because nobody is actually perfect. This is traceable to the singular fact that these persons may not have followed the instructions correctly and in other cases, they may not be using the diaphragm whenever they want to have sexual intercourse.

Let us look at other ways of determining the effectiveness of a diaphragm

Other Ways of Determining the Effectiveness of a Diaphragm Birth Control Device

There are two ways of determining the effectiveness of a diaphragm birth control such as actual effectiveness and method effectiveness.

The Actual Effectiveness

You can assess the actual effectiveness of a diaphragm birth control by determining the percentage of partners using this form of birth control to prevent pregnancy and actually, they apply it and get positive results.  In some cases, these partners may not have used it correctly or even they may not have used it at all.

The Method Effectiveness

Effectiveness of a Diaphragm Birth Control Device

In determining the efficacy of this method, you estimate the ratio of partners that planned to use a diaphragm to prevent pregnancy and they are using it consistently, correctly, and they never become pregnant in any way.

Ways of Calculating the Effectiveness of a Diaphragm Birth Control Method

After applying birth control measures in preventing pregnancy for a period of one year, the couples are brought together to assess the results and impacts so far. You can use two methods to calculate the effectiveness processes, which are:

The Pearl Index Method

The effectiveness of any birth control method can be determined using the pearl index method. It is the easiest and most common process, which doctors use in calculating the efficiency of a diaphragm birth control method. Experts also regard this method as the ‘pearl rate’.

In calculating the pearl index method, you estimate the number of pregnancies in a year divided by the number of women that used it in a given year period.

The Decrement Tables

Decrement tables are applied in the calculation of the possibilities and chances of certain events occurring.  Experts also regard decrement tables as life table methods.  These tables are used to ascertain the effectiveness of birth control methods.

In this case, a table is used in determining the separate effectiveness rate of every month of study, and it can also be used for a defined period such as one year, that is a 12-month period.  This method has been proved more efficient in helping couples know their fertility period and even preventing the doubts and biases of calculating the times very well. It is rated as being more effective than the pearl index method of calculation.

Comparing Actual Effectiveness and Method Effectiveness

Experts have postulated various reasons why actual effectiveness is lower than method effectiveness among all other types of contraceptives. These reasons include errors on the part of the instructors on providing adequate and reliable information on how to use this method effectively and errors on the side of the women using these contraceptive methods by not applying it very well. Additionally, in most cases, the users deliberately do not comply with the prescriptions given by their healthcare providers leading to pregnancies in the end.

A further note on this, a doctor can fix the diaphragm birth control device wrongly into a woman’s vagina and pregnancy may occur after sexual intercourse. On the other hand, a user may remove the device immediately after intercourse and spermatozoa can flow into the eggs in the womb causing fertilization while another instance where a mistake can occur is a situation where the woman decides to enjoy sexual intercourse without the diaphragm fitted into her cervix.

Diaphragm Birth Control Cost

Diaphragm Birth Control Cost

The cost of diaphragm birth control covers a wide range of things such as the cost of examination or checkup, the cost of fitting, and the cost of the diaphragm itself.  You can purchase a diaphragm covering all the costs listed above from prices ranging between $0 up to $300.  Additionally, a spermicide, which you can apply on the device costs between $5 up to $15.

Do you have a health insurance plan? Having a health insurance plan provides an opportunity for you to get a diaphragm birth control device free or you can get one for a lower price because the law mandates insurance companies to include birth control methods as part of their coverage for health insurance plans.

Another option is Medicaid, which is based on your legal status in the United States of America and income status too.  You may be qualified for Medicaid including other government pioneered health programs that will help you have access to good health care services and birth control measures at affordable prices.

With proper care, you can maintain your diaphragm for up to five to ten years if you do not lose weight or gain more weight during these periods. However, the monthly cost of the diaphragm including spermicides will be between 50 cents to $3, if you are not enjoying any rebate from government programs or insurance policies.

Diaphragm Birth Control Side Effects

You can enjoy a pleasurable sexual intercourse without getting pregnant using diaphragms, especially if you apply spermicide on the dome of this cuplike device. These birth control devices work well if properly fitted into the vagina before having intercourse. Although spermicide will be applied to destroy sperm cells, the device causes side effects and other health-related challenges to the human body organs. Some of these side effects include

The Issues of Changing Body Shapes and Various Sizes of Diaphragms

From time to time, human bodies undergo changes in shapes and the diaphragm comes in different sizes too.  There is the issue of always changing diaphragms and being fitted with a new one whenever there is an increase in your body shape or if you experience weight loss in any way.

The Inconvenience of fixing it Every Time You Want to Enjoy Vaginal Sex

Fixing your diaphragm properly whenever you want to enjoy vaginal sex is not a negotiable factor, especially if you don’t want to get pregnant. However, considering the inconveniences of always opening the vagina to insert the device every time you want to enjoy sex is a nightmare to some women. Due to this embarrassment, most women may decide to have unprotected sex with their partners, thereby exposing themselves to the risks of unwanted pregnancies and even sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV- AIDS.

Our candid advice on this issue is for you to consider other forms of contraceptives and birth control measures that are less stressful and have an equal or a higher potential of preventing pregnancy and keeping you safe from STIs too. Consult your doctor for the best method that can suit your needs such as Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) or implants, called Nexplanon.

On the other hand, no matter the type of contraceptive device you decide to use, the important factor is getting extra protection by using condoms together with your birth control device. Even female condoms will protect you from getting pregnant and STDs too.

The Difficulty in Fixing a Diaphragm Properly

Fixing a diaphragm can be a challenging issue for most women and it needs some training to get it done properly. One major concern is pushing the device out of its normal position by forcefully thrusting the penis in and out of the vagina during intercourse. This could increase the risks of getting unwanted pregnancy and even STDs.

Moreover, if you are not applying spermicide properly on the diaphragm, it may not be effective in preventing pregnancy. Rubbing spermicide gel on the silicone device before putting it inside your cervix can actually help in curbing the issues of unwanted pregnancies. Remember to wait for about six hours after intercourse before removing it from your body but always reapply spermicide on the device if you must use it for birth control purposes.

Where to Buy a Diaphragm Birth Control

Buy a Diaphragm Birth Control

As we said earlier, there are different types of diaphragms available in various sizes but your healthcare provider will examine you to know the one that can fit into your vagina properly.  Nevertheless, one pertinent question you may need to ask your doctor after receiving your prescriptions for contraceptive devices is “Where can I buy a diaphragm birth control device”

A good answer your doctor will give to you is that diaphragm birth control devices are available at health centers, pharmacies, and drugstores.  The doctor will also teach you how to use a diaphragm by fixing it properly into your cervical orifice.  Additionally, you must buy a spermicidal gel, which is available over the counter at drugstores.

Finally, do not share your diaphragm birth control device with anyone and never use another person’s own to avoid sharing sexually transmitted infections and diseases too.

Preventing Pregnancy While Enjoying Sexual Intercourse Comfortably

Do you want to enjoy sexual intercourse and prevent unwanted pregnancies using diaphragm birth control? A diaphragm birth control is a device made of soft silicone, which you can fix into your cervix to prevent pregnancy and STDs. There are different types and sizes of diaphragms but your doctor can help you in picking a good one suitable for your vagina after consulting him for examination and prescription. He will also train you on how to use it by rubbing spermicides on it before inserting it into your body.  With these tips and tricks for using diaphragm birth control effectively, you can prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections while enjoying sex comfortably.

Related Topics:

IUD Birth Control: The Best Contraceptive Devices

How Soon Can You Get Pregnant after Stopping Birth Control?


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