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The diaphragm works by stopping sperm from entering the womb, by covering the cervix. Vaginal diaphragms are circular domes made of silicone with a flexible rim. To be effective, diaphragms should be used with a spermicide – a cream or gel that kills sperm.

Key facts: 

  • They’re 92-96% effective at preventing pregnancy with perfect use and 71-88% effective with typical use
  • It doesn’t interrupt sex, but it must be inserted before you have sex
  • They won’t alter your periods and they don’t contain hormones
  • They are unaffected by medications taken
  • No STI protection

How to use: 

It’s best to visit one of our clinics to discuss this form of contraception and a nurse will show you how to insert it correctly.

You should leave your diaphragm in for at least six hours after the last time you’ve had sex. You can leave a diaphragm in for longer than six hours, but not for more than the recommended time of 24 hours.

Download our patient leaflet for more information.