June 30, 2021 | Written By: Izzat Izzuddin
Family Planning Methods: Diaphragm
What Is A Diaphragm?
A diaphragm is a circular dome made of thin, soft latex or silicone with a flexible rim. It covers the cervix (the entrance of the womb) to prevent sperm from entering the womb. A diaphragm needs to be used with spermicide, a chemical that kills sperm, and must be left in the vagina for at least 6 hours after sexual intercourse. A diaphragm is 92–96% effective at preventing pregnancy if it is used correctly with spermicide.
How Does A Diaphragm Work?
When inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse, it bars sperm from entering the cervix and, therefore, prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg and causing a pregnancy. However, a diaphragm does not protect a woman against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). If you are concerned about STDs as well as pregnancy, have your partner wear a condom.
How Do I Use A Diaphragm?
If you are using a diaphragm for the first time, it is advisable for you to consult a healthcare provider to :
• Determine a diaphragm that suits you best, as diaphragms come in various sizes and shapes
• Know the correct way of inserting and removing a diaphragm
• Learn about how to use a diaphragm with spermicide.
Using a diaphragm during menstruation is not recommended due to a possible risk of life-threatening complication of bacterial infections (toxic shock syndrome).
Ask your healthcare provider if you want to know more about the contraceptive diaphragm.
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