Article

Diaphragm

concept
A woman uses spermicide to coat this dome-shaped silicone or latex cup with a flexible rim. Then she inserts it to the back of her vagina so that it covers the cervix, where it blocks sperm.

success rate
With typical use, 20 women out of 100 become pregnant in one year. With perfect use, six women out of 100 become pregnant in one year.

groovy part
It can be put in place up to six hours before intercourse and can stay there for 24 (though fresh spermicide should be applied each time you have intercourse).

drag factor
Won’t protect effectively against most STDs, including HIV; can increase the risk of urinary tract infections and toxic shock syndrome; Can be messy (thanks to the spermicide) and clumsy to use until you get the hang of it. Also, it has to stay in place for six hours after the last act of intercourse and then needs to be washed thoroughly with soap and water.

how to get it
Through a prescription from a health care provider; the cost is about $30 to $40 plus the cost of spermicide, and the exam and fitting for the diaphragm. Many clinics also have sliding scale fees, meaning you pay based on what you can afford.


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