What is a Diaphragm?

A diaphragm is a dome-shaped latex cup with a flexible rim. It is worn inside the vagina and covers the opening to the uterus (cervix). When it fits properly, neither you nor your partner should feel it during intercourse.

How Does It Work?

The diaphragm works by covering the cervix and preventing sperm from entering the uterus. It also holds spermicide that kills the sperm. This prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. The diaphragm must stay in place for 6-8 hours after intercourse in order to be effective.

How Effective is a Diaphragm?

The effectiveness of a diaphragm varies from one study to another. Some studies have shown 80% effectiveness with typical use while others have shown 95% with perfect use. In other words, between 5 and 20 women out of 100 will become pregnant within one year of use.

It is important to remember to:

  • Use it correctly every time you have sex
  • Make sure it covers your cervix completely
  • Keep it in place 6-8 hours after intercourse
  • Use a fresh application of spermicide every time
  • Ask your examiner if you have questions about how to use it properly