While most people know what condoms are and what they do, many people are less familiar with the diaphragm. So what is a diaphragm? It is a small, shallow cup made of silicone that is inserted into the vagina before sex.
The purpose of the device is to cover the cervix and the opening to the uterus so that sperm are physically blocked from entering and pregnancy can be avoided. A diaphragm is always used with some type of spermicidal product, such as spermicidal jelly, cream or gel. The spermicide is placed inside the diaphragm before insertion.
When used correctly, a diaphragm is about 94% effective in preventing pregnancy. When not used correctly, such as when not using the recommended spermicide, the device has 88% effectiveness for pregnancy prevention.
A diaphragm can be even more effective if used with a condom. Since both the condom and the diaphragm work to block the sperm from entering the uterus to fertilize a woman’s egg, by using both you are effectively doubling your protection. In addition, a condom can also protect both partners from sexually transmitted diseases, as well as for pregnancy prevention.
Also, when using just the diaphragm, a male partner can further increase the effectiveness of the device by pulling out of the vagina before ejaculation.
Both diaphragms and condoms have a strong safety record and can be used safely and effectively by most healthy adults. Of course, you should always consult your doctor or gynecologist before trying a new form of birth control or contraception.
For sexually active couples, using condoms with a diaphragm are an effective and convenient choice. While most other forms of contraception have side effects or drawbacks of some kind, these devices are made of relatively benign silicone or latex. Both devices are relatively inexpensive, small and easy to carry with you, whether in a purse or wallet. Before intercourse, both devices are quite easy to use and don’t take much time to put on or insert.
The main advantage of using both a condom and a diaphragm at the same time is that, as long as you use them both as directed, they offer extremely high effectiveness for prevention of pregnancy, and also good protection from any sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV, syphilis, herpes and gonorrhea.
One great advantage of using a diaphragm is that it can be inserted well before intercourse takes place, even hours ahead of time. Then you can be ready for spontaneous or planned sex. Many
men prefer the use of diaphragms for pregnancy prevention as the device does not interfere with sexual pleasure or feeling. In fact, neither partner can feel the diaphragm during sex.
A diaphragm also does not interfere with a woman’s hormones, unlike birth control pills, which can often have negative side effects on health. A diaphragm is also completely reversible, unlike things like tubal ligation or a hysterectomy.
There are disadvantages to a diaphragm however. The device can be tricky to insert or place correctly. If a woman is not comfortable putting her fingers inside of her vagina, then it may not be a good option. Also, the device can sometimes be dislodged from its optimum location by a very large penis or very fast or intense thrusting. Some sexual positions may also dislodge the device from where it should be. If it isn’t in the correct place, the diaphragm becomes either less effective or even completely ineffective.
This is why a diaphragm and a condom used together are a smart choice. Both devices have advantages which make up for the shortcomings of the other. For cost conscious couples, both items are quite economical choices as well. Condoms generally range from 20 cents to 80 cents each. A diaphragm is typically $15 to $80 for one diaphragm that can last for years. You’ll also want to consider the cost of the spermicide as well.
Economical, safe, effective, this is why using a condom and a diaphragm together is a choice more couples are making.