Diaphragm

A Diaphragm is a shallow cup made of silicone which is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix.

It is designed to stop the sperm from getting into the uterus during sexual intercourse.

The Diaphragm is a barrier contraceptive method and is 86% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly.

A Diaphragm does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or blood-borne viruses (BBVs). Practice safer sex by using condoms to reduce the risk of STIs and BBVs.

    What is a Diaphragm?

    A diaphragm is a shallow, cup-shape made of silicone. In Australia there is a “single size” diaphragm device available called the Caya®.

    Unlike traditional diaphragms the Caya® diaphragm can be purchased without the need for fitting however it is recommended that where possible women are assessed by a health professional to make sure it fits correctly and to check that the device when inserted correctly covers the cervix .

    The manufacturer recommends also using Caya gel, a lactic acid based gel that is used on the inside of the diaphragm next to the cervix.

    How does a Diaphragm work?

    A diaphragm stops sperm getting into the uterus during sexual intercourse.

    Sperm can live for several hours in the vagina so the diaphragm must be left in place for at least 6-24 hours after sex until the sperm in the vagina die.

    The manufacturer recommends also using Caya gel, a lactic acid based gel that is used on the inside of the diaphragm next to the cervix.

    How well does a Diaphragm work?

    If used correctly it is 82%- 86% effective at preventing pregnancy.

    What can stop a Diaphragm from working?

    The diaphragm might not work if it:

    • Doesn’t fit properly
    • Inserted incorrectly
    • Used without the gel
    • Taken out less than six hours after sex
    • Torn
    • It’s past its use by date

    Are there any side effects from using a Diaphragm?

    Possible side effects for a small number of users can include:

    • Latex allergies.
    • Irritation of the vagina or penis.
    • Increased risk of bladder infection.
    • Toxic shock Syndrome – a very rare blood infection.

    It is important that you do not leave the diaphragm in the vagina for any longer in than 24 hours.

    Can a Diaphragm cause any serious Health Problems?

    The diaphragm might cause a very rare blood infection called toxic shock.

    It is important that you do not leave the diaphragm in the vagina for any longer in than 24 hours.

    Why a Diaphragm might not be right for you?

    The diaphragm might not be a good option for you if:

    • You are prone to bladder infections.
    • You are within 6 weeks after giving birth.
    • You have a history of Toxic shock syndrome.
    • Women with certain types of vaginal prolapse (where the pelvic organs have dropped down).
    • You are unable to feel if your cervix is correctly covered by the diaphragm. Speak to a doctor or nurse for advice.

    How do I get a Diaphragm?

    You can buy the diaphragm from Family Planning Tasmania clinics and some pharmacies. You can also buy it online.

    How do I insert a Diaphragm?

    Your doctor or nurse can help to make sure the diaphragm fits you and can check that you know how to put it in correctly.

    The manufacturer provides detailed instructions in the box and on their website about how to use the diaphragm.

    It is a good idea to practise inserting and removing the diaphragm several times before you use it for contraception.

    To insert the diaphragm:

    • Apply lubricant gel to the upper surface.
    • Use the dimple grips to squeeze the rim together.
    • Insert the diaphragm into the vagina
    • Guide it back & up towards the small of the back as far as it will go.
    • Tuck the diaphragm behind the pelvic bone at the front of the vagina.
    • Check that the cervix is completely covered by feeling with your fingers.

    How do I remove a Diaphragm?

    To remove the diaphragm:

    • Leave the diaphragm in place for at least 6 hours after sex.
    • Hook your index finger into the dome to pull the diaphragm out.
    • Wash the diaphragm with warm water and once dry put it away in it’s case.
    • Don’t wash it with disinfectants, detergents, powders or perfumed soaps.

    How do I look after my Diaphragm?

    A diaphragm should last for up to 2 years if you care for it properly.

    After use:

    • Wash the diaphragm with warm water and plain unperfumed soap.
    • Don’t wash it with disinfectants, detergents, powders or perfumed soaps.
    • Rinse and leave it to air dry thoroughly.
    • Check it for any holes or signs of wear.
    • Put it away in its case in a cool place.

    Please note:

    • If it feels sticky, the silicone is perishing and needs replacing.
    • Check with a pharmacist when you use any vaginal products to make sure it can be used safely with your diaphragm

    What do I do if my Diaphragm moves during sex?

    If the diaphragm moves out of place, tears, or is not used properly then you should think about using Emergency Contraception.

    Where to get more information, support or advice.

    Family Planning Tasmania has clinics in Glenorchy, Launceston, and Burnie. Click here to contact a clinic near you

    Any of our Doctors or Nurses can assist you with information or support about Diaphragms, or you can talk to your regular GP.

    You can also download our My Choice App which can help you to be informed and take control of you own sexual health. Go to My Choice

    MakeanAppointment
    Glenorchy
    9am-5pm Mon-Fri6273 9117
    Launceston
    9am-5pm Mon-Fri6343 4566
    Burnie
    9am-5pm Mon, Wed, Thurs6431 7692