The diaphragm is considered a contraceptive barrier method. It is a device of latex or silicone, in the form of a hood, whose edge is a flexible ring.
Before each relationship, it should be inserted by the woman herself, after a previous consultation with the gynecologist, who will use measuring rings to determine the ideal size for each patient – a measure that should be reevaluated after each delivery or weight gain / loss.
In the vagina, the device rests on the posterior bagus of the vagina, obstructing the cervix and preventing pregnancy from occurring.
The professional explains better how the method works, lists their strengths and weaknesses, and other important details for women who use the diaphragm.
How it works and for whom it is indicated
When placed in the vagina, usually associated with the spermicide (placed in its concave part), the diaphragm occludes the external orifice of the cervix, making it difficult to ascend spermatozoa that have been released into the vagina through intercourse and its arrival to the ovum, thus fertilization.
Because it is not a hormonal method, the diaphragm has no interference with the menstrual cycle and can be used by women who have any restrictions on the use of hormones. “All women who want to use a contraceptive method, with or without restriction to the use of hormonal methods, can use the diaphragm, provided they do not present contraindications,” clarifies the gynecologist.
Advantages and disadvantages of the diaphragm
As with any contraceptive method, the diaphragm has both advantages and disadvantages, which must be analyzed by each woman, together with her doctor, so that a conclusion can be reached as to its use. The gynecologist lists a few:
- It is a non-hormonal method;
- It has low cost;
- Its efficacy is reasonable;
- It does not present risks;
- The association with spermicide may protect against cervical cancer.
- It requires the woman’s ability for insertion;
- It should be placed before and removed after intercourse, which can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse;
- It needs a longer time to remain in the vaginal cavity after sex, which can generate some discomfort for some women;
- It is not recommended for use during the menstrual period;
- It does not protect a woman against STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections).
The possibility of diaphragm failure and the risk of an unwanted pregnancy are rare and are generally associated with poor insertion and misuse.