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Diaphragms: The Pros and Cons

Updated on March 3, 2011

Ladies, are you really still using this thing?? This is something Aunt Mildred found liberating – but we’ve come a long way since then, baby. Like, nearly 70 years.That's how long it's been since the device’s heyday. Yeah, it’s really that freaking old. Your Gran probably had one! Ok, maybe that’s not such a good visual, sorry. Statistics allege that only .2% of American women use these, but I have heard an awful lot of chatter about it in recent years, which leads me to believe it’s more common than that. It shouldn’t be, however. It’s a PITA, and I’m going to tell you why. As with previous articles, this is intended for couples who are both monogamous and disease free, looking only to prevent pregnancy.

Pros

  1. It works, if you’ve got it in there correctly – 95% effective.

  2. You can insert it several hours before the action starts, thereby avoiding the mood breaking often experienced when using condoms and the like.

  3. You don’t have to remove it right away (and, in fact, you shouldn’t – for at least 4 - 6 hours.)

  4. It’s relatively cheap, costing between 30 and 40 bucks.

  5. It appears to go unnoticed during the deed, by both man and woman.

  6. They come in both latex and silicone.

Note: If the woman doesn't have a latex allergy, but the man does, she still needs to be using silicone, for his sake.

Cons

  1. It’s not always in there correctly, and has a more accurate efficacy rate of 80%.

  2. You have to be fitted for it. Yes, that’s right. You have to go to your OB/GYN and let them size you up. Boy, doesn’t that sound like a party? God knows the yearly pap smear is already more excitement than most of us can handle.

  3. While the diaphragm only costs 40 or 50 bucks, seeing the doctor for fitting can cost you a couple of hundred.

  4. Oh, and you’ll need to be having that sucker replaced every couple of years as well.

  5. You’ll need to use spermicide with it, or be content with lowering the contraception efficacy by another 20% or so. And spermicide averages about a dollar per use. Which could get pricey if you’re a frequent flyer.

  6. Toxic Shock Syndrome is rare, but a possibility.

  7. Leave it in too long and you could start smelling more than a bit funky down there.

  8. Often reported as contributing to the development of urinary tract infections.

If you really want to use one of these, go ahead. Personally, it sounds like a lot of hassle to me. I’d use a condom before I messed around with one of these. I’d also be too stressed wondering whether or not it was in there correctly!

xx Isabella

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