How to use Vaginal Diaphragms?
Vaginal diaphragms prevent pregnancy by blocking the entry of sperms into the female genital tract. It is not as common as condoms and a lot of women do not know how to properly use diaphragms to minimize the risk of unintended pregnancies.
How to use vaginal diaphragms?
It is recommended to learn how to properly use vaginal diaphragms for best results and maximum effectiveness. If you are experiencing difficulty in inserting or removing diaphragm after use, you can use appropriate tools or devices to help in insertion.
Here are some basic steps:
- Apply small amount of spermicidal jelly along the rim and dome of diaphragm
- Fold the diaphragm in such a way that dome of diaphragm points downwards and both sides of rims are touching
- Use your fingers to open the vaginal opening
- Gently insert the diaphragm into the vagina as far as possible
- Push one edge of rim towards the tail bone with the help of a finger
- Make sure to check if diaphragm is in place with the help of your fingers. You should be able to feel the firmness of cervix through the dome of diaphragm.
The diaphragm can be placed in the vagina about 60 minutes prior to sexual activity and can be left in place for up to 4 to 6 hours. Make sure the diaphragm is removed within 24 hours.
How can you improve the efficacy of vaginal diaphragms?
Efficacy and effectiveness of vaginal diaphragms can be increased by following these tips:
- Make sure you pick a diaphragm that fits you well
- Place the diaphragm rims correctly over your cervix
- Use diaphragm ideally with spermicidal jelly
- Wear the diaphragm after use for 6 hours
To further improve the effectiveness of diaphragm as a condom, the male partner can use a condom or pull out just prior to ejaculating. When used correctly, the efficacy of diaphragms is as high as 94-98%.
Diaphragm is a great option for most women; however, it may not be the best choice for women who:
- Are not comfortable with touching their genitals or vagina
- Are allergic or sensitive to latex or spermicidal jellies
- Women who have a known vaginal abnormality
- Women who don’t know how to insert a diaphragm
There are several other contraceptive options that can be used besides diaphragm if you are looking for a long-term contraceptive option.
- Milford, C., Rambally, L., Kubeka, M., Moore, L., Beksinska, M., Kilbourne-Brook, M., & Smit, J. (2014). Introduction of the SILCS diaphragm as a multipurpose technology in South Africa: potential users, perceived benefits, and barriers to use. AIDS research and human retroviruses, 30(S1), A67-A67