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Effective immediately, no hormones, can be inserted up to 6 hours before sex


Diaphragms are a dome-shaped silicone cup that can be placed in the vagina to cover the cervix to keep sperm out of the uterus. They are about few inches in diameter. For diaphragms to work effectively, you will need to use spermicide.

  • Can put in in hours in advance
  • You can have sex as many times as you like while it’s in
  • Neither you nor your partner should be able to feel it
  • Doesn’t affect your hormones
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • Decreases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease and tubal infertility
  • Can immediately get pregnant after stopping use
  • Reusable
  • Doesn’t protect against STIs, including HIV
  • Can be difficult to insert
  • May cause vaginal irritation or discomfort
  • May cause frequent urinary tract infections
  • Needs to be used every time you have sex
  • If you’re allergic to spermicide or silicone, you shouldn’t use it
  • Needs an initial prescription
  • Can’t be used with oil-based or silicone-based lube
  • Can get pushed out of place

How to Use

The diaphragm can be inserted 6 hours before sex. But you must be comfortable with touching your body since you will need to put your fingers inside your body every time you use it. It might take some time getting used to. If you are on your period, don’t use the diaphragm. After you have sex you will need to leave it in for 6 hours. If you plan on having sex again in the same day, you can leave the diaphragm in place and add more spermicide in the vagina before you have sex again or you can have your partner use an external condom. Don’t leave the diaphragm in for more than 24 hours.


The diaphragm takes some discipline and planning. You must use it every time you have sex. But you can put it in up to 6 hours before having sex. If you are having sex often, it may be a little time consuming to use. Since the diaphragm is small enough, you can always keep it your purse for in-the-moment, spontaneous sex.


The diaphragms is fairly effective, it is even more effective when used with spermicide or another birth control method, such as an external condom. To be effective diaphragm must be used with spermicide. With perfect use, it is 94% effective, but with typical use it is 79% effective. Diaphragms are more effective for women who haven’t given birth.

Side Effects

Usually none, unless you are allergic to silicone or spermicide. May experience irritation or discomfort.


You will be able to become pregnant as soon as you stop using the diaphragm. If you stop using the diaphragm and are not ready to become pregnant, use another method right away.

How to Get

The diaphragm requires a prescription from a healthcare provider. Before getting the diaphragm, your healthcare provider will fit you for the right size. If you don’t have a healthcare provider, find a family planning clinic near you.


You may qualify for free or discounted costs. To find out if you qualify, find a healthcare provider near you.