Diaphragm is a dome-shaped bowl that is made of thin and flexible rubber that fits over the cervix. The function of diaphragm is to prevent the sperm cells from entering the uterus. Thus the resultant impregnation is prevented. In order to provide double protection spermicides are also put inside the bowl of the diaphragm. The spermicides are applied over the edges of the diaphragm before inserting it into the vagina.
The diaphragm needs to be inserted into the vagina six hours before having sex. After every sexual intercourse, it is better to use fresh spermicides. It is also advisable to retain the diaphragm in the cervix up to six hours after the affair. However, it should not be kept there continuously for more than twenty-four hours.
In order to remove the diaphragm, a finger should be inserted in the vagina for pulling it out. After the removal, the diaphragm should be well washed, rinsed and properly dried before storing it for further use. Always ensure that it is not exposed to lubricants such as mineral oil, baby oil or petroleum jelly. These lubricants are likely to make the diaphragm go brittle. Vaginal creams and ointments such as yeast medicines are also likely to damage diaphragm. No single diaphragm should be used for more than a period of two years. Moreover, it is advisable to constantly check the diaphragm for weak spots or holes on the surface. In such a case, the desired effect will not be obtained. Damaged diaphragms should immediately be altered with new ones.
There are two important factors to be taken care of while inserting the diaphragm. One is that, the inserted diaphragm should fit perfectly in the cervix. Another thing is that it should be used every time a couple gets engaged in sexual relationship.
Another disadvantage of diaphragms is that it does not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases. For ensuring safe sex, condoms should be used along with diaphragms.