A Diaphragm is a shallow silicone cup inserted into the vagina. Similar to the cervical cap, it must be used with spermicide. It blocks the opening of the cervix and prevents sperm from entering. Once inserted it should stay in place for more than six hours.

Effectiveness **3 of 5

Out of 100 women who always use the diaphragm, between 6 to 16 will become pregnant.

How To Use

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Check the diaphragm for any holes.
  3. Put 1 tsp of spermicide in the cup and around the rim.
  4. Find a comfortable position.
  5. Separate the lips of your vagina with one hand, and use the other hand to pinch the rim of the diaphragm and fold it in half.
  6. Put your index finger in the middle of the fold to get a good, firm grip.
  7. Push the diaphragm up and back into your vagina.
  8. Make sure to cover your cervix.


  1. Wash your hands again. With your index finger, hook it over the top of the rim of the diaphragm and pull the diaphragm down and out.
  2. After you take it out, wash it with mild soap and warm water. Let it air dry. And use it again.

Side Effects

The Diaphragm will not protect against STI’s or HIV infections.

Some women develop vaginal irritation. This can be a sign of an allergy to the spermicide. If you have a mild reaction to spermicide, try switching brands to clear up the problem.

Serious but less likely side effects. Check with your healthcare provider if you: feel a burning sensation while urinating, are uncomfortable when the diaphragm is in place, feel irritation or itching in the genital area, have unusual discharge from the vagina. These symptoms may be a sign of infection or other condition.

Notes to Self

Does not protect against STI’s or HIV infections.

It is hormone free.

There come in latex or silicone. If you are allergic to latex, make sure to get the plastic silicone version.

Costs about $15–$75 and last up to 2 years.