Diaphragms and caps
A diaphragm is a circular dome made of thin latex or silicone which is inserted into the vagina before sex. Although diaphragms are 92-96% effective, most women nowadays find them a bit outdated and other options more effective.
Caroline says: "The diaphragm is something that the woman can insert herself which makes contraception a little more under her control. It can be put in up to half an hour before she has sex so it not as last minute as a male condom."
If you choose to use a diaphragm then you will need to use it with spermicide (to kill the sperm) and leave it in place in your vagina for 6 hours afterwards. They also must be fitted for the correct size by a doctor or nurse.
The cap is inserted in the same way, fitted it the same way by a Dr. or nurse, lasts for the same time and used for the same barrier-effect. It is also as effective as the diaphragm at 92-96%. The difference between the two is that the cap is like a sort of plug which sits just in front of the cervix in your vagina.
These methods are best suited to women who do not want to mess around with your body in any way, no injections, no hormones, nothing. They also have the added benefit that you are the one in control, which has to be a good thing!
- There are no added health risks or effects unlike other contraception options.
- You can put them in several hours before sex so it won't ruin the mood when you're getting down to it.
- You control your own birth control method.
- They are not the most effective method of contraception.
- It can be quite tricky to get the hang of inserting and removing the diaphragm.
- You will need to be re-fitted with a new diaphragm if you gain or lose a lot of weight.
- The diaphragm can lead to cystitis.