Diaphragm Birth Control:
Vaginal diaphragms are equivalent to condoms in females as both are physical barrier methods that restrict the entry of sperms into the vaginal tract. A vaginal diaphragm birth control is a dome-shaped shallow cup-like structure that rams around the vagina and covers the entry of cervix.
When used correctly, vaginal diaphragms are 94% efficient at reducing the risk of unwanted pregnancies.
The diaphragm as a Birth Control Method:
There are several varieties of diaphragm birth control in terms of shape and structure; such as flat spring, coil spring, and arching spring that is made up of silicone or latex. For best results, vaginal diaphragm must be applied at least 1 hour prior to sexual intercourse and must be left in place for up to 6 hours after sexual activity.
The core benefits of vaginal diaphragm include:
- Cost effectiveness
- Ease of use and feasibility
- Reversible method of contraception
- Efficient method of contraception
The effectiveness of this method can be increased by concurrent use of spermicidal jellies, but if you have an active history of urinary tract infection or inflamed genital tract, avoid using spermicidal jellies due to aggravated risk of developing genital inflammation.
Types of Vaginal Diaphragm:
- Arching spring diaphragm: This is the most common variety of vaginal diaphragm and is suitable for females who have weak or poor tone of vaginal muscles. The rim of these diaphragms is firm, which ensures easier insertion.
- Coil spring diaphragm: This is a preferred option for women who have an average tone of vaginal muscles. The rim of these diaphragms is flexible and soft.
- Flat spring diaphragm: This option is suitable for women who have strong and powerful vaginal muscles. The rim of these diaphragms is flexible and thin.
- Wide seal rim diaphragm: This option is suitable for women who have known allergy to latex. It is made up of silicone and is available in coil or arch spring shapes.
Coil spring and flat spring can both be inserted into the female genital tract with an introducer tool.
There are several sizes and options available when it comes to female diaphragms. It is ideally recommended to seek the help of your primary care physician to know which options are best for you and also how to use diaphragm properly. The success rate of vaginal diaphragms is anywhere between 70% to 99%.
- Beksinska, M., Greener, R., Smit, J., Maphumulo, B., Mphili, N., Kilbourne-Brook, M., & Coffey, P. S. (2017). A Randomized Crossover Study Evaluating the Use and Acceptability of the SILCS Diaphragm Compared to Vaginal Applicators for Vaginal Gel Delivery. AIDS and Behavior, 1-6.
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