The diaphragm is a birth control device that is also referred to as a barrier device. If a woman chooses to use this method must have her health care provider measure her to get a diaphragm that fits her perfectly. There is no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to using this method.
Once a diaphragm has been chosen the physician, or their nurse, will need to teach the woman how to correctly put it in. If it is not placed exactly right then it will have no effect on preventing pregnancy.
It looks a lot like a wide condom before it is opened. It is made from thin, soft, supple rubber in the shape of a bowl.
As long as a woman uses it correctly then it has an effective rating of ninety five percent but a spermicide must be used with it. Some women, who are living with their partner, even on a part time basis, will put it in before bed to ensure a worry free night of lovemaking if it should occur.
The diaphragm works by blocking the ability of the sperm to get into the uterus by closing off the pathway to it. Some health care providers will suggest putting it in several hours before a women thinks she may have sex while others will suggest that as long as it is in before foreplay it will be okay. Spermicide must be used each time a couple engages in intercourse.
Six Hours Minimum
The diaphragm must remain inside for no less than six hours after the last time a couple has intercourse. It should not be left for any more than twenty four hours. It is easy to remove it.
A woman simply puts her finger inside and gently pops it out. Once removed it must be washed thoroughly. It then should be dried and put back in the case it came in. It is very important that it is cared for in this manner to keep it clean and so avoid the spread of any germs or bacteria.
Care and Maintenance
It is equally important that nothing else is used on the device. Never put abbey powder on it or any type of oils, jellies or creams including baby oil. This will not do it any good and will instead shorten its lifespan.
The rubber can be damaged by using these things and eventually it will become hard and crack.
If it is cared for properly it should last two years before it will need to be replaced. Still, even when it is relatively new it should be checked regularly to make sure it has not cracked and that it does not have any tiny holes in it.
If a woman has a chosen to have baby then after the birth she should not use the same diaphragm. This is because it is likely that she will have to have a new one since giving birth will change her shape and the old one may no longer fit snuggly.