It can take time to learn how to use them.
Before use, check your diaphragm regularly for tears or holes by holding it up to the light and having a good look at it. Be careful with your fingernails and jewellery. If your diaphragm goes out of shape, squeeze it gently back into its circular shape.
Your diaphragm may become discoloured. Don’t worry, this will not make it less effective.
- You can insert a diaphragm up to two hours before you have sex – after this time, you will need to take it out and put some more spermicide on it, or use an applicator to apply more spermicide
- With clean hands, put a small amount of spermicide on each side of the diaphragm (also putting a little spermicide on the rim may make the diaphragm easier to put in)
- Put your index finger on top of the diaphragm and squeeze it between your thumb and other fingers
- Slide the diaphragm into your vagina, upwards. This should ensure that the diaphragm covers your cervix
- Always check that your cervix is covered – it feels like a lump, a bit like the end of your nose
- If your cervix is not covered, take the diaphragm out by hooking your finger under the rim or loop (if there is one) and pulling downwards, then try again
- You must leave it in for at least six hours after the last time you had sex. You can leave it in longer but do not exceed 24 hours.
After use, you can wash your diaphragm with warm water and mild, unperfumed soap. Rinse it thoroughly, then leave to dry. You will be given a small container for it, which you should keep in a cool, dry place.
Never boil your diaphragm, never use disinfectant or detergent to clean it or use talcum powder with it.