RisksBy Mayo Clinic staff
The diaphragm doesn't offer reliable protection from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
An estimated 16 out of 100 women will get pregnant in the first year of typical use of the diaphragm.
Consistent and correct use is essential to the effectiveness of the diaphragm. For example, you may get pregnant when using a diaphragm if:
- You don't use the diaphragm every time you have sex
- The diaphragm becomes dislodged from the cervix during sex
- You don't use spermicide
- You remove the diaphragm within six hours after having sex
Spermicide applied to the diaphragm may damage the cells lining the vagina, causing:
- An increased risk of contracting STIs
- Vaginal irritation
- Urinary tract or vaginal infection
Contact your health care provider if:
- The diaphragm slips out of place when you walk, sneeze, cough or strain
- You notice blood on the diaphragm after you remove it that isn't related to your period
- You or your partner experience pain during or following use of the diaphragm
- You have signs or symptoms of toxic shock syndrome, such as sudden high fever, diarrhea, dizziness, vomiting, fainting or a rash that looks like sunburn
- You're unable to remove the diaphragm
- Barbieri RL. How to fit and use a diaphragm for contraception. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Choosing a method of birth control. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. http://www.arhp.org/Publications-and-Resources/Quick-Reference-Guide-for-Clinicians/choosing/Cervical-Cap. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.
- Birth control methods fact sheet. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.cfm. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Barrier methods of contraception. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/faq/faq022.cfm. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Diaphragm fact sheet. Office of Population Affairs. http://www.hhs.gov/opa/reproductive-health/contraception/diaphragm/. Accessed Nov. 16, 2011.
- Cates W, et al. Vaginal barriers and spermicides. In: Hatcher RA, et al. Contraceptive Technology. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media, Inc.; 2011:391.
- Ortho all-flex diaphragm fitting set. Titusville, N.J.: Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc.; 2008. http://www.janssenpharmaceuticalsinc.com/our-products/product-list. Accessed Nov. 17, 2011.
- Female-controlled barrier methods. In: Zieman M, et al. A Pocket Guide to Managing Contraception. Tiger, Ga.: Bridging the Gap Communications; 2010:63.