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Health Information For Parents
A diaphragm is a dome-shaped bowl made of thin, flexible silicone that sits over the cervix, the part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. It covers the cervix so sperm can’t get in and fertilize an egg.
A diaphragm keeps sperm from entering the uterus by covering the cervix. For added protection, spermicide is put into the bowl of the diaphragm and along its edges before it’s inserted. The diaphragm is placed high into the vagina so it covers the cervix.
The diaphragm can be put in up to 2 hours before having sex, and must be left in place at least 6 hours after sex. The diaphragm should not stay in longer than 24 hours. More spermicide must be used each time a young woman has sex while wearing the diaphragm.
Over the course of a year, 12 out of 100 typical couples who use the diaphragm with spermicide will have an accidental pregnancy.
How well the diaphragm works depends on:
A diaphragm also needs to be cared for. After each use, it must be washed (with mild soap and water), rinsed, and air dried, then stored in its case. Baby powder and oil-based lubricants (such as mineral oil, petroleum jelly, or baby oil) should not be put on the diaphragm. Other vaginal creams, such as yeast infection medicines, also can damage the diaphragm.
A diaphragm should be replaced at least every 2 years. It should be checked regularly for holes or weak spots, and replaced as needed.
No. The diaphragm does not protect against STDs. Couples having sex must always use condoms along with the diaphragm to protect against STDs.
Abstinence (not having sex) is the only method that always prevents pregnancy and STDs.
Most young women who use a diaphragm have no problems with it. But possible side effects include:
A diaphragm may be a good option for a young woman who can take responsibility for protection before having sex. With a diaphragm, she must always have a supply of spermicide.
The diaphragm isn’t a good choice for anyone who is uncomfortable or uneasy with the thought of reaching into her vagina. And it may not be right for those with some medical conditions, such as frequent urinary tract infections. The diaphragm should not be used when a young woman has her period.
A doctor or
must fit a girl for a diaphragm. During a pelvic exam, the doctor or NP will find the right size diaphragm and teach her how to insert and remove it. A diaphragm that’s inserted incorrectly or doesn’t fit well can lead to pregnancy.
During an annual exam, the doctor or nurse will make sure the diaphragm still fits correctly. It may not fit if a girl has gained or lost weight, had a baby, had an abortion, or was fitted when she was a virgin and she is now having sex. A woman who has had any of these changes should have her doctor check the fit of the diaphragm right away rather than wait until her annual exam.
Costs can range from $0 to about $250 for the diaphragm and the office visit. Many health insurance plans cover the costs, and family planning clinics (such as Planned Parenthood) may charge less. Also, the cost of spermicide is about $0.50 to $1.50 per use.
A diaphragm should be replaced every 2 years.
A woman using a diaphragm should call the doctor if she:
Talking to your kids about sex can be a challenge. But discussing issues like birth control can help lower teens’ risk of unintended pregnancy or getting an STD.
Answering kids’ questions about sex is a responsibility many parents dread. But by answering these questions honestly, parents can help foster healthy feelings about sex.
Big physical and emotional changes happen during puberty and the teen years. These articles can help you become a source of information, comfort, and support for your kids.
Spermicides can be used alone but are more effective when used with another method of birth control, such as a condom or diaphragm.
Parents should learn about the most common STDs, how they spread, and how they’re diagnosed and treated.
The idea of going to the gynecologist may make your daughter feel nervous. Here’s how to make her feel more comfortable about a well-woman visit.
You’ve probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article about the cervical cap to find out if it’s right for you and how well it works.
Some birth control methods work better than others. This chart compares how well different birth control methods work.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. A diaphragm may be a birth control good option for a young woman who can take responsibility in advance.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to get the basics on birth control.
Condoms are thin pouches that keep sperm from getting into the vagina. There are male condoms and female condoms.
Toxic shock syndrome is a serious but uncommon bacterial infection. TSS is a medical emergency – symptoms include sudden high fever, a faint feeling, diarrhea, headache, and muscle aches.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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