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Who Uses the Diaphragm?


Who is the diaphragm used by? This barrier method of contraception is a great choice for many but it isn't ideal for everyone. Consider how this device works and think about whether or not you are a good candidate for this form of birth control.

How Does a Diaphragm Work?

A diaphragm is a barrier method birth control that blocks the cervix, preventing sperm from reaching the egg. The diaphragm's rim fits snugly against the against the vaginal wall, creating a seal. The device is fitted by a physician but is inserted before intercourse takes place. Women in the United States require a prescription for this form of birth control.

A diaphragm should be left in place for at least six hours after having sex. Some doctors recommend leaving it in for as little as two hours for the birth control to be effective, but it is best to discuss the length of time to leave it in place with your doctor. Most suggest that six hours is the safest.

Who Is the Diaphragm Used By?

Women who use the diaphragm should be confident that they can use the device correctly to ensure that it is effective. The product is subject to human error and some women may become pregnant if the device isn't used properly. With correct use, the birth control is 94 percent effective, but with typical use its effectiveness drops to between 80 and 84 percent.

Who is the diaphragm used by? Women who fall into the following categories may be good candidates for this type of birth control.

  • Women who have had no previous vaginal births find the device to be more effective than ones who have.
  • Smokers older than 35 who are advised not to use birth control pills. Diaphragms may be a better choice for this population.
  • Women who have migraines are not able to take birth control pills.
  • Women who don't want to use an intrauterine device (IUD) may look to the barrier method as a less intrusive birth control option.
  • Women who maintain a consistent weight are better candidates than women whose weight fluctuates more than 10 pounds. The device has to be refitted with significant changes in weight.

Women who have the following conditions should consider a different form of birth control.

  • Allergy to latex - The diaphragm is typically made of latex and women who are allergic to the material may experience a reaction. If the woman's partner has an allergy to latex, a different form of birth control should be used. A doctor may recommend a diaphragm made of silicon.
  • Physical changes in the vagina - Congenital problems and surgery may change the elasticity or shape of the vagina. The diaphragm is not the best form of birth control if physical changes in this area are present.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections - Your doctor may recommend a different form of birth control if you are prone to infection.
  • Toxic shock syndrome - Women who have a history of toxic shock syndrome should not use this type of birth control.
  • Women who are allergic to spermicide may want to talk to their doctors about alternative forms of birth control.

Is the Diaphragm Right for You?

If you are considering the diaphragm as a method of birth control, consider the question who is the diaphragm used by? Your doctor can offer the best advice as well as other options to explore. Women interested in using a diaphragm may want to consider the Today Sponge, since this birth control is similar but does not require special fitting or a prescription.

Who Uses the Diaphragm?