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Diaphragm

The diaphragm is a contraceptive device for women that does not require the involvement of hormones. It must be used every time when having intercourse. It is also possible to use it only during the fertile period, which you can determine with the help of Perception of fertility.

Only one silicone products is currently available on the German market. It is offered in a single standard size and contoured shape. The diaphragm in different diameters has been taken from the markets in october 2018.

It’s all about the right fit

The diaphragm should be adjusted by an experienced specialist to determine the correct size.

Although the product cannot be adjusted in one size, the correct fit should be checked by a specialist, especially if you have not used a diaphragm before.

After births, miscarriages or a change in weight of 5 kg or more, the size and correct fit should be checked.

The diaphragm should not be used during the first 6 weeks after delivery. Nor should it be used, if the woman is prone to frequent bladder infections.

How to use

The diaphragm must be used together with a spermicidal gel. After applying the gel to the diaphragm, it is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse. Therein, it acts like a barrier.

The man's penis thus has no direct contact with the cervix and the sperm cannot ascend to fertilise an egg cell.

The diaphragm can be inserted either up to two hours or one minute before sexual intercourse. Before repeated intercourse, an additional portion of gel with an applicator must be inserted into the vagina. After the (last) intercourse, the diaphragm must remain in the vagina for at least 8 hours. Insofar as it is fitted and inserted just right, neither the woman nor her partner will feel it.

The durability of the diaphragm is indicated as one to two years, depending on the frequency of use and maintenance. Frequent boiling shortens the shelf life.

Advantages

The diaphragm is easy to use once you are familiar with it and have had some practice with it. It can be used only when needed, the menstrual cycle is also not messed with and no usage of hormones is involved.

Disadvantages

It takes a little bit to learn how to insert the diaphragm. Some men and women find the insertion to be an interruption in their love making - although the diaphragm can be inserted up to two hours earlier. The gel can cause unpleasant sensations (feeling of warmth, burning sensation). Another preparation might suit you better. It is very rare for the irritations of the urethra or allergic reactions to occur.

Reliability

When used correctly (including the use of a spermicidal gel) and adapted, the diaphragm is a reliable method of contraception. A lot of different conclusions are reported regarding contraceptive safety (see Pearl-Index) because the diaphragm is subject to different use and there are significant differences in the quality of adaptation and counselling.

Accessibility

The correct fit should be checked for the standard one-size-fits-all diaphragm by an experienced technician. The said experienced technician need not be a certified doctor. The pro familia counselling centres near you as well as women's health care centres have gained particular expertise in the adaptation.

You can obtain the diaphragm by online mail-order houses (e.g. http://medintim-shop.de or www.famplan.de)

Costs

The standard one-size-fits-all diaphragm costs between 31 and 38 €. There could be additional costs for shipping, adjustment, check-up and the spermicidal gel.

Personal counselling

If you want to know more or have questions, please contact a doctor or a pro familia counselling centre.

Doctors, social workers, psychologists and pedagogues shall be at your disposal as contact persons.

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