• Brief

    • The diaphragm is a method of contraception.

      The diaphragm is a silicone cap with a flexible rim. It covers the entrance to the uterus (cervix) and prevents sperm cells from reaching the egg cell. Diaphragms come in various types and sizes. You can have a diaphragm fitted by a doctor, but some diaphragms come in one or several standard sizes. You can buy a diaphragm at a pharmacy without a prescription.

    • How to use a diaphragm?

    • Put the diaphragm inside the vagina before penetration. Do it in the following way:

      • Put a special gel (spermicide) on the inside of the diaphragm. The gel kills sperm cells or slows them. The gel enhances the protection.
      • Fold the diaphragm in half and insert it a maximum of 2 hours before sexual intercourse.
      • Insert the diaphragm deep into the vagina, over the entrance of the uterus. Hold the hollow side of the diaphragm towards the uterus. The cervix must be covered.
      • Remove the diaphragm between 6 and 24 hours after ejaculation. Pull it down and out.
      • Wash it in hot water and dry it.
    • How reliable is the diaphragm?

    • It is reliable when used correctly and less reliable when misused.

      When a diaphragm is used correctly, it is a very reliable method of contraception. However, the diaphragm is often not used in the way explained above. In this case, it is less reliable. Furthermore, the diaphragm only works if you use the correct size. If you gain or lose more than 5 kilograms in weight, you should have a check-up to see whether you need a different-sized diaphragm. You will usually need a new size after delivery.

      You should not use the diaphragm during the first six weeks after delivery. Ask a doctor for advice.

    • No protection against STIs and HIV

    • The diaphragm does not protect against STIs or HIV. Only a condom can protect you.

    • Where can I buy the diaphragm?

    • You can buy the diaphragm in a hospital or pharmacy. You can also buy a spermicide at a pharmacy.

      These contraceptives are free at public hospitals, but you may be required to pay for consumables like hand gloves.