Patient Information: Birth Control
Diaphragm Contraceptive Device
The diaphragm is a dome shaped rubber cup, with a spring inside the rim. You must be fitted for a diaphragm by a doctor. The diaphragm must be used with spermicidal cream or jelly. There are several brands of spermicidal creams and jellies. They can be purchased, without a prescription, at drug stores. Contraceptive foam should not be used with the diaphragm.
The diaphragm fits inside the vagina and covers the opening to the uterus. It blocks sperm from entering the uterus. The spermicidal cream or jelly used with the diaphragm kills any sperm that swim over the rim of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is not an effective method of birth control if used without spermicidal cream or jelly. To prevent pregnancy, the diaphragm must be used every time you have intercourse. .
How to Use Your Diaphragm
There are several advantages to using a diaphragm. The diaphragm is relatively inexpensive. When used correctly, it is effective in preventing pregnancy. There are very few side effects associated with the diaphragm.
Problems with the diaphragm are very rare. A few men and women are allergic to spermicidal creams and jellies. They may experience itching and irritation. If this happens, try switching brands. If that does not help, consult your doctor. The problem can usually be solved by switching to a different brand. If you are troubled by discomfort or pain when the diaphragm is in place, check with your doctor.
You may need a different size or brand of diaphragm. Use of the diaphragm has been associated with toxic shock syndrome. Because of this, you should not leave it in place for longer than 24 hours. Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include high fever, diarrhea, vomiting, muscle aches and a sunburn-like rash. If these symptoms occur, consult your doctor.
You will need to be refitted for a new diaphragm after a pregnancy, if you have a 10 to 20 pound weight change, or if you have a major abdominal or pelvic surgery. Bring your diaphragm with you to your yearly gynecological check-ups. Purchase a new diaphragm when the rubber becomes thin or torn.
If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the clinic at 319-356-2294, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or after hours, and ask for the gynecology resident.
Peer Review Status: Internally
Last modification date:
Thu Aug 23 12:28:58 2007