How can I make sure my diaphragm works effectively?

A diaphragm is 82% to 94% effective when used every time you have intercourse, even during menstrual periods. To prevent pregnancy, it also must be:
  • Used with spermicidal cream or jelly, which kills sperm in the vagina;
  • Inserted immediately before intercourse, and no earlier than six hours
  • Kept in place for at least six hours after intercourse because sperm can
           live in the vagina;
  • Removed before 24 hours after intercourse because of the risk of Toxic
           Shock Syndrome;
  • Washed only with mild soap and water, not deodorants, talcum, or
           oil-based products, which may damage the diaphragm;
  • Stored away from heat.

Continue Learning about Diaphragms



A diaphragm is a dome-shaped form of birth control (barrier contraception) that is inserted into the vagina. When used with spermicide, diaphragms are 84% to 94% effective at preventing pregnancy when they are used every time you ...

have intercourse. Diaphragms do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, so you should also use condoms to help prevent STDs.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.