Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
The diaphragm is a dome-shaped rubber cup with a flexible
rim. Before intercourse the diaphragm is filled with a
contraceptive cream or jelly and inserted into the vagina.
(The contraceptive cream or jelly contains a spermicide, a
chemical that kills sperm.) The diaphragm covers the cervix
(the opening into the uterus) and, together with the
spermicide, provides a barrier that prevents live sperm from
reaching the uterus, thus preventing pregnancy.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING A DIAPHRAGM
- Inserting the diaphragm
- Removing and cleaning the diaphragm
- Leave the diaphragm in place for at least 6 hours
after intercourse. Remove it as soon after this as
possible. Do not douche with the diaphragm in place.
If you have intercourse more than once, or if more
than 6 hours have passed since insertion, you should
insert more contraceptive cream or jelly into your
vagina. Do not remove the diaphragm to do this. A
plastic applicator is sold with the contraceptive
cream or jelly. Use this applicator to insert more
jelly or cream into your vagina, in front of the
- To remove the diaphragm, put your index finger in
your vagina and hook it under the rim of the
diaphragm. Gently pull the diaphragm down and out.
- Wash your diaphragm every time after intercourse with
plain mild soap and water. Dry it with a towel and
put it in its case. Store the diaphragm in its case
away from heat.
- Decreasing the risk of infection
- Wash your hands carefully before you insert or remove
- Do not wear the diaphragm more than 24 hours at a
- Do not use your diaphragm during your period or when
you are having abnormal vaginal discharge. Have your
partner use condoms during this time instead.
- Do not use a diaphragm for the first 3 months after
- Refitting a diaphragm
Return to the doctor to have your diaphragm fitting
- if you gain or lose more than 10 to 20 pounds
- if you experience pain or discomfort from your
- if you have been pregnant since your last fitting
- if you have had any kind of pelvic surgery
- at least every year because the size or shape of your
cervix may change.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE DIAPHRAGM
- This method of birth control is 80 percent to
90 percent reliable in preventing pregnancy.
- Diaphragms may offer some protection against sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs), but use of condoms with
the diaphragm is encouraged for better protection.
- There are practically no side effects from the use of
the diaphragm and spermicide. This is a very safe
method of birth control.
- Diaphragms provide immediate protection against
- Diaphragms may be inserted with spermicide up to
3 hours before intercourse.
- You must be comfortable inserting and removing the
diaphragm from your vagina and checking its position.
- The diaphragm and spermicide must be inserted BEFORE
any genital contact. If both you and your partner
are not able to exercise this willpower EVERY time,
this is not a good form of birth control for you.
Even if you forget just one time, you could get
- This method does not protect against some sexually
transmitted diseases. To protect yourself against
STDs, use a condom every time you have sex, even
though you are also using a diaphragm.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF YOU DEVELOP ANY OF THE
FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS WHILE YOUR DIAPHRAGM IS IN PLACE:
- unexplained fever over 101 degrees F, or 38.4 degrees C
- lightheadedness or dizziness when you stand up
- muscle aches
Your physician will advise you on whether or not to remove
your diaphragm if it is in place.
CALL YOUR PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- You have any questions regarding the use of your