A diaphragm is a latex or silicone cup with a firm flexible rim and shallow dome that is inserted within the vaginal canal to block sperm from entering the cervix. Spermicide is applied to the outer surface of the diaphragm in order to stop sperm from creeping in through the sides and must be used with diaphragms in order to prevent pregnancy successfully.
Contraceptive Technology reports that the method failure rate of the diaphragm with spermicide is 6% per year. The actual pregnancy rates amongst diaphragm users vary depending on the population being studied, with yearly rates of 10% to 39% being reported. Unlike some other cervical barriers, the effectiveness of the diaphragm is the same for women who have given birth as for those who have not. Diaphragms are only effective when used correctly, therefore it is imperative to check with your doctor or sexual health care consultant in order to become a successful diaphragm user.
One study found an actual pregnancy rate of 24% per year in women using the diaphragm without spermicide; however, all women in this study were given a 60mm diaphragm rather than one being fitted individually by a clinician. Other studies have been small and have given conflicting results.
In order to seal any gaps or holes, and to make sure all there is no chance of viable sperm reaching the cervix, the diaphragm must be used along with a contraceptive or spermicidal gel. If you or your partner has an adverse reaction to the chemicals in spermicide, check out Contragel, the all new spermicide alternative that is making barrier contraception more relevant then ever.
Women or their partners who are allergic to latex should not use a latex diaphragm. Diaphragms are associated with an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Urinating before inserting the diaphragm and also after intercourse may reduce this risk.;The increased risk of UTIs may be due to the diaphragm applying pressure to the urethra, which is common if the diaphragm is too large, and causing irritation by preventing the bladder from emptying completely.
However, the spermicide with Nonoxynol-9 (N-9) is itself associated with increased risk of a UTI, yeast infection, and bacterial vaginosis. Some experts advocate the use of lactic acid based spermicides or contraceptive gel such as ContraGel to avoide putting yourself at more of a risk for these infections.
Toxic shock syndrome occurs at a rate of 2.4 cases per 100,000 women using diaphragms, almost exclusively when the device is left in place longer than 24 hours.
Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc, produce the Ortho Coil Spring Diaphragm (discontinued 2008) and the Ortho All-Flex Arcing Spring Diaphragm, which is available in 4 sizes (65, 70, 75 and 80mm) .
In Brazil, Semina Industries produce the Semina Diaphragm, a clear silicon diaphragm available in six diameter sizes, from 60 to 85mm, in 5mm increments.
Lastly, the Milex Wide Seal Diaphragm, our number one recommendation for a diaphragm, is made with superior materials and engineering. It is made of 100% silicone and has a shallow dome and a wide rim with an arcing or Omniflex Spring. It has a small skirt around the rim intended to hold gel in place and improve the seal. It is available in eight diameter sizes, from 60 to 90mm, in 5mm increments.
The Milex Wide Seal Diaphragm with both Arcing and Omniflex Springs are now both in stock.
A Doctor or Gynecologist is needed to ascertain the correct size, as correct sizing is critical in effectively preventing pregnancy. Every 6-12 months the user should check to see if that size is still correct especially if there has been if there has been weight loss or gain of more than a few kilos, a pregnancy, abortion or miscarriage.
You should NEVER guess your correct size and you should NEVER assume it will stay the same. An incorrectly sized diaphragm increases the risk of pregnancy.
During the check up to ensure that a diaphragm is the best barrier contraceptive choice for you and to measure the correct size, the Doctor or Gynecologist will also be able to show you how to correctly insert and remove the diaphragm. Not inserting it or removing it correctly can also increase the risk of pregnancy.
It is crucial that a Doctor or Gynecologist is consulted to confirm a diaphragm is a suitable contraceptive method for you, to correctly measure you for your diaphragm and to instruct you in its correct use. DO NOT attempt to purchase or use a diaphragm until after such a consultation.
You will need to be refitted if:
We currently stock all diaphragm sizes: 60mm ,65mm ,70mm ,75mm ,80mm ,85mm and 90mm
Diaphragms can not be used during menstruation because it would interfere with the natural flow of menstrual blood. Furthermore, because you are not fertile during menstruation, contraception would not be needed to prevent pregnancy.
Intercourse only has the risk of pregnancy for approximately 6 days per cycle during your Fertility Window. A healthy egg is only fertilisable for 18-24 hours and sperm cannot survive for more than 5 days inside a woman, so that span of 6 days (5 days before ovulation and the day of ovulation) is really the only time when barrier contraception needs to be used for pregnancy protection.
Starting at: £2.95
Milex silicone diaphragm, with Omniflex style spring. Available in 60mm, 65mm, 70mm, 75mm, 80mm, 85mm, 90mm. Sizing must be determined by your Doctor or Gynaecologist.
Starting at: £2.95
ContraGel Green, the Natural, Vegan Alternative to Spermicide, large 60g tube. The ideal gel for your diaphragm or cervical cap, natural and safe. Compatible with YES Organic lubricants and our range of vegan condoms.
Starting at: £2.95
Milex silicone diaphragm, with Arcing style spring. Available in 60mm, 65mm, 70mm, 75mm, 80mm, 85mm, 90mm. Sizing must be determined by your Doctor or Gynaecologist.
Starting at: £2.95
Caya is a single-size contraceptive barrier device designed to fit a broad range of women. The contoured diaphragm design is easy to use and offers discreet contraceptive protection.