Treatments & Therapies

Diaphragm – Treatment, Effect & Risks


diaphragm is a safe contraceptive for women who do not want to stress their bodies by taking hormones . However, the right application and the right size are decisive for reliability.

What is a diaphragm?

The diaphragm , an elastic spiral or flat spring covered with a silicone membrane, bears a close resemblance to a rolled-up condom. Before sexual intercourse , it is inserted into the vagina and placed over the cervix. Thus, it forms an impenetrable seal that prevents sperm from entering the uterus .

Since the size and structure of the vagina is different for every woman, the diaphragm is available in nine different sizes with a diameter of six to nine centimetres. In order to ensure the best possible protection against pregnancy , adjustment by the gynecologist is an absolute must.

Structure, function & mode of operation

The reliability of this contraceptive method depends crucially on the diaphragm lying in the exact position on the cervix. To do this, the cervix is ​​first measured. In order to determine the correct size of the diaphragm, different sizes must be tried in a second step. The largest diaphragm that is no longer noticeable after insertion is the right one. The correct fit can be easily checked by feeling the cervix with your finger. It must be completely covered by the diaphragm.

The diaphragm should be inserted into the vagina with the front end 30 minutes before intercourse. To do this, the edges are slightly pressed together and inserted deep into the vagina like a tampon . The correct position is between the posterior vault of the vagina and the pubic bone, as this completely closes the cervix. To increase safety, it is advisable to rub the diaphragm beforehand on the side facing the cervix and on the edges with spermicide, a gel that kills sperm.

If there is an allergy to spermicides, products based on citric acid or lactic acid can be used, which greatly reduce sperm motility.

After insertion, women should check the correct fit again. If the diaphragm can no longer be moved, it is in the correct position and forms a barrier that prevents the sperm from fertilizing the egg. After ejaculation, the diaphragm must remain in the vagina for at least eight hours until all sperm are unable to be fertilized.

After that, it should be removed by grasping it with your finger under the front edge and pulling it out. Thorough cleaning with water and a mild soap is then required. Anyone who has repeated sexual intercourse while wearing the mask must also apply spermicides, which are inserted deep into the vagina using an applicator.

Medical & health benefits

diaphragm is particularly suitable for women who only have sex occasionally and do not want to resort to permanent contraception, but do not want to hand over control of contraception to men.

A big advantage of using it is that the use of a diaphragm has no health side effects. Unlike the pill , which absorbs hormones, there is no effect on the menstrual cycle. In addition, by inserting and feeling the right position, women get to know their bodies better, which many appreciate as valuable self-awareness.

Other plus points are that a diaphragm only has to be used when needed and, due to its size, can be easily transported as it fits comfortably in any handbag. With all the advantages, however, it must be borne in mind that the use of a diaphragm should not be used if the partner changes frequently, as it does not protect against the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV .

In addition, the use can increase the susceptibility to bladder infections and the use of spermicides can cause allergic reactions. If the diaphragm remains in the vagina for more than 24 hours, the risk of developing abnormal vaginal discharge or vaginal inflammation also increases.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.