How it Works

• Flexible latex or silicone dome-shaped device
• Used with spermicide (kills sperm preventing them from reaching an egg)
• Placed inside the vagina to cover the cervix
• Stops sperm entering the uterus and fertilising an egg
• Can be put in up to 3 hours before having sex (as long as more spermicide can be applied just before sex)
• Must be left in for 6 hours after sex

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• If used correctly it is 92-96% effective i.e. between 4 and 8 women using this method will get pregnant each year (Note: with typical use its about 71-88% effective i.e. between 12 and 29 out of 100 users will get pregnant in a year)
• No serious side effects
• You only have to use it when you have sex


• Additional spermicide is needed
• Some people are sensitive to spermicide
• Extra spermicide is needed if you have sex again
• Putting it in can interrupt sex
• It can take time to learn how to use it correctly
• Cystitis (bladder infection) can be associated with diaphragm use

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Image by Reproductive Health Supplies Co