When it comes to birth control, today’s women have more options than ever before. Your choices include pills, patches, implants, IUDs, condoms, and diaphragms.
No birth control method is perfect for every woman. Each method offers different levels of effectiveness, convenience, ease of use, potential side effects, and protection from sexually transmitted infections.
At Associates in Women’s Health in Cincinnati, our care providers recognize that selecting birth control is a personal choice. And we’re happy to help you make that choice. No matter what your needs, our providers are pleased to work with you to pick a birth control method that is
right for you.
The diaphragm offers a good birth control solution for some of our patients. Here, we would like to share information about the diaphragm, so you can consider whether you might want to consider it for yourself.
The diaphragm is known as a barrier method, which means it creates a barrier that stops sperm from reaching an egg and creating a pregnancy. Other barrier methods include condoms, cervical caps, and sponges.
A diaphragm is a bendable, dome-shaped device made of silicone or latex. It typically is used along with spermicide, which is a cream, gel, or foam that kills sperm.
After applying spermicide to the diaphragm according to its manufacturer’s instructions, you bend it in half and insert it into your vagina before having intercourse. Once in place, the diaphragm covers your cervix, acting as a barrier against sperm. A diaphragm must remain in place for six hours after intercourse.
The diaphragm offers several advantages that make it popular with women. These include:
Convenience: You may insert your diaphragm whenever you need it.
Lack of hormones: Unlike birth control pills, injections, and patches, the diaphragm is non-hormonal. This may make it appealing to women who have reactions to hormone-based birth control.
Spontaneity: Unlike a condom, you don’t have to interrupt your lovemaking to insert a diaphragm. You can put it in up to two hours before having sex.
Reusability: A diaphragm lasts for a couple of years. You don’t have to replace it every time you have sex, as you do with a condom or sponge.
The diaphragm has a few disadvantages that lead women to choose a different form of birth control. These include:
Lower effectiveness than other methods: Statistically, a diaphragm is less effective at preventing pregnancy than some other kinds of birth control, such as the pill, an implantable rod, an IUD, and birth control injections and patches, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
Timing issues: A diaphragm should stay in your body for at least six hours after intercourse, but no longer than 24 hours, or you have a small risk of developing toxic shock syndrome.
Lack of protection from sexually-transmitted infections: A diaphragm may not be the right choice if you or your sex partner have multiple sex partners.
Side effects: Although many women use diaphragms without incident, you may experience side effects such as urinary tract infections, vaginal infections, or allergic reactions.
Whether you’re interested in being fitted for a diaphragm or considering the many other birth control options available, we’re here to help. To schedule a birth control evaluation, call our office at 513-794-1500, or request an appointment via our online portal today.