There are various sizes and brands of diaphragms. You can visit your healthcare provider to be prescribed one that best fits you.

How it Works

The diaphragm form of birth control consists of a dome-shaped cup made of latex with a flexible rim. It is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix. Diaphragms work by blocking sperm from the opening to the uterus, where they could then fertilize the egg. Diaphragms should be used with spermicide cream or jelly. Spermicide stops the sperm from moving.

How to Use

Your healthcare provider has to examine you to make sure the diaphragm will work for you. She or he will find the right size and then show you how to insert and remove your diaphragm. With practice, a diaphragm is easy to use.

Make sure your hands are clean, and then put about a tablespoon of spermicide in the cup. Spread some around the rim as well. Find a comfortable position, similar to one you’d take to insert a tampon. Separate the lips of your vulva with one hand. With the other, pinch the rim of the diaphragm to fold it in half. At this point, the spermicide should be inside the fold. Place your index finger in the center of the fold for a firmer grip. Push the diaphragm as far up and back into your vagina as it will go. Make sure the edge of the diaphragm is tucked behind your pubic bone and that your cervix is covered.

The diaphragm needs to stay in place for six hours after sexual intercourse. If you engage in sexual intercourse again after the original time, keep the diaphragm in place for six hours from the last instance and insert more spermicide deep into your vagina.


  • When the diaphragm is used exactly as directed for every instance of sexual intercourse, it has a 94% rate of effectiveness.
  • The diaphragm is more effective when used with spermicide.


The average cost for a diaphragm is between $15 and $75. Spermicide jelly or cream kits are about eight dollars. Diaphragms can last up to two years, so the average cost is very low.


  • With proper care and cleaning, a diaphragm can last up to two years. On a monthly average, it is one of the least expensive birth control methods available.
  • Diaphragms do not interrupt sexual play, as they can be inserted hours before sexual intercourse. In most cases, the diaphragm cannot be felt by the woman or her partner.
  • Women like diaphragms because they can be used while breastfeeding, do not affect their natural hormones and do not carry any of the side effects of hormonal birth controls.


  • Diaphragms and spermicide do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or HIV (AIDS).
  • The diaphragm is one of the more complex birth control methods to use correctly. It can be difficult for some women to insert. After insertion, it can be pushed out of place by some penis sizes, heavy thrusting and certain sexual positions.

Note: Diaphragms and the cervical cap Femcap have many similarities. They are both placed over the cervix to prevent pregnancy by keeping sperm from reaching the cervix. However, there are a few differences. Diaphragms have an 8-23% higher rate of effectiveness than cervical caps. Femcon is made of silicone, so it is more appropriate for people with latex allergies. Diaphragms can also be less expensive than cervical caps.

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Do You Know Which Birth Control Method is the Most Effective?

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Do You Know Which Birth Control Method is the Most Effective?

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How effective is your birth control?

For sexually active women, he effectiveness of birth control depends on how perfectly they use it. For this reason, there are two kinds of effectiveness rates. One measurement is for perfect use, as the method is tested in the lab or used in real life with no mistakes.

The other is typical use, the average including people who don’t always use the method correctly or every time sexual intercourse takes place.

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