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Diaphragm and cap

 Quick Facts

  • You have to put in the diaphragm or cap every time before you have sex.
  • A barrier method of contraception
  • Learning to use it properly may take some time


If correctly used along with spermicide, the diaphragms or caps are 92-96% effective in preventing pregnancy.

Diaphragm 100%

Key Benefits 

  • There is no health risk of using this
  • Quite effective and cheap
  • Diaphragms and caps won’t affect your periods.

What are the Diaphragms and caps?

Diaphragms and caps are a barrier method of contraception. They cover your cervix (entrance to the uterus) to stop sperm from reaching an egg. Use a spermicide along with them to increase their effectiveness.  

You only have to use a diaphragm or cap when you have sex, but you must leave it inside for at least 6 hours after the last time you had sex.

How to use it correctly?

  • Follow the instructions on the diaphragm or cap pack. Mastering the art will require practice. You may consult a healthcare provider to teach you how to put it correctly.
  • Wash your hands. Feel for your cervix. Insert a clean finger inside your vagina till you touch the hard end at the top. The cervix feels like the nose tip. The diaphragm and cap need to cover your cervix to be effective.

How do I put in a diaphragm?

  • Be in squatting, lying down, or standing position. If standing, keep one foot on a chair while putting in the diaphragm.
  • Put a little spermicide on the diaphragm’s upper surface (approximately two 2cm strips). You may also put some on the rim, which will help you put it in quickly.
  • Place your index finger on the top of the diaphragm while squeezing it between your thumb and other fingers.
  • Put the diaphragm into your vagina in an upwards and backward direction.
  • Ensure that the diaphragm covers your cervix. If it doesn’t, take it out and try again.

How do I put in a cap?

  • Use clean hands to fill one-third of the cap with spermicide.
  • Please don’t place spermicide around the rim; it will prevent the cap from staying in place. Put some spermicide in the groove between the dome and the rim.
  • Squeeze the sides of the cap together and hold it between your thumb and first two fingers. Depending on the type of cap, add extra spermicide to ensure that it covers your cervix.

Removing a Diaphragm or cap

  • Hook your finger under its strap or ring.
  • Gently pull it outward and down.
  • Make sure that you have left the diaphragm at the place at least for about 6 hours after intercourse.
  • But be sure not to leave the diaphragm for 30 hours or more.


  • You can place it in before you have sex.
  • Unlike other contraceptive methods, you only need to use the diaphragm when you are ready for intercourse.
  • You can use it with a spermicide to have more protected sex.
  • You can be in control of your contraceptive method.


  • It is not as effective as other contraceptive methods.
  • It is not a reliable barrier against STI.
  • Some ladies may dislike using spermicide.
  • It takes time to learn to use it.
  • The spermicide may irritate you or a partner if any of you are sensitive to it.

Essential Tips

  • Do not try to take out the diaphragm and then apply the spermicide.
  • Choose the appropriate size of the diaphragm for which you might need to consult the doctor.
  • Try to use it more often and learn how to use it appropriately.
  • Not everyone can find this method suitable. Give it a try and check out whether it suits you or not.
  • When you visit your doctor, ensure you wear the diaphragm so that he can check the size properly.
  • Avoid using a diaphragm or cap contraceptive during your period.
  • Please wait at least six weeks after childbirth before using it.
  • You may need a different-sized diaphragm or cap after you’ve had a baby or after a miscarriage or abortion.

Recommended to use if

You may use it unless contraindicated.

Not Recommended if

  • Your  vaginal muscles have become weak as a result of prolonged labor during childbirth and cannot hold a diaphragm in place
  • You are allergic to spermicide
  • It is hard to place in the correct position due to anatomy or otherwise
  • There are repeated occurrences of urinary infections
  • you are suffering from a vaginal infection
  • If you have ever had toxic shock syndrome
  • you are not  comfortable putting it into your vagina
  • if you have multiple sexual partners.

In Short

Diaphragm and caps are a barrier method of contraception. Generally, there are no health risks associated with using them if you use them according to the instructions that come with them.




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