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Is The Diaphragm Making A Comeback?

Posted in Personal Health 13 Aug, 2015

A diaphragm is not just difficult to spell, it's also pretty difficult to use, or so I've been told. Good news then that it's been redesigned.

The basic design has been used as contraception for hundreds of years - the idea is very simple so it's no wonder. It's a shallow bowl-type device that acts as a barrier to the cervix, a bit like a moat but without the water, which sperm can't get past. It's best used with a spermicide in case you've got some really tough swimmers. Diaphragms are made from silicone and are foldable, useful little things.

How Diaphragms Are Different Now

It's been 50 years since the diaphragm as we know it was first designed. The biggest change is that it's now single-sized.

In the past you needed to get a doctor to fit the right size for you, but now you can do it yourself. It's a bit like popping in a tampon - pretty easy and not painful. No pelvic exams or nurse appointment required. There are plenty of instructional videos online to guide you.

Here Come The Pros:

  • It's just a silicone bowl. Very few people are allergic to silicone, but many are allergic to latex condoms.
  • There are no hormones entering your system. If you've tried the pill, the mini-pill and the implant, you may have found them wanting. The diaphragm could be worth a shot because it's not messing with you.
  • As a woman ages her body will change, and she can require different contraception. These women may find the diaphragm a lifesaver.
  • It's now one size, so weight changes and post-pregnancy bodies won't affect it.
  • If you are thinking of getting pregnant you simply don't use it! There's nothing to take out and you don't have to wait for hormones to go away, as with the pill.
  • Great for breastfeeding ladies who don't want to feed hormones to their newborn.
  • They last for several years if you take care of them.

Watch Out, Here's The Cons:

  • Its only 88% effective. The IUD, the pill, the implant, and condoms are more effective than that.
  • You need to use spermicide too, so that might mess up the anti-allergy benefit.
  • It's easy to forget. You need to stop all that snogging, find it, and insert it. Not very romantic, especially if you are in the woods or something, although that said you can put it in place hours before, just in case you get lucky.
  • It's not particularly stealthy to carry in a purse or bag. It won't fit in your purse like a condom will.
  • Diaphragms don't protect against STIs - only condoms do that.

Contraception is a good thing; especially when it doesn't involve hormone-altering drugs. The diaphragm certainly has its place in the modern contraception line up. I'm sure more women will choose to use it now because of the simplicity and the fact it's not messing with your hormones. It might make a welcome change if you are reliant on condoms.

Whatever suits you best is the best contraception for you, so the more choice the better.

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