Effectiveness in Preventing Pregnancy
- Of 100 women who use this method each year, about 15 are likely to get pregnant
- Must be coated with a special jelly that kills sperm (called spermicide) and inserted inside the vagina before having sex
- It must remain in place for at least six hours after sex
- More spermicide is needed each time you have sex. Remove diaphragm with 24 hours
Clinic Visit Required
- Yes, diaphragms require a prescription, come in different sizes, and must be fitted by a health care professional
How do I get it?
Diaphragms come in different sizes so see your health care provider for a proper fit. You might need a different-sized diaphragm if you gain or lose more than 15 pounds or if you have a baby.
After determining which size you need, your health care provider will give you a prescription. You can get both the diaphragm and the spermicidal jelly at a pharmacy.
To search for a family planning clinic near you, use our Clinic Locator.
Advantages of the diaphragm
- The diaphragm is effective, safe, and easy to use
- It can be inserted several hours before having sex
- The diaphragm is controlled by the female and does not require the consent of her partner
Drawbacks of the diaphragm
- Does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
- If left inside the vagina longer than 24 hours, may result in irritation, allergic reaction, infection or, in rare instances, toxic shock syndrome
- Requires a clinic visit and prescription
- May need to be fitted again following childbirth or weight loss or gain