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Diaphragm for Birth Control - Topic Overview

Disadvantages of the diaphragm

Failure rates for barrier methods are higher than for most other methods of birth control.

  • The diaphragm should not be used by women who have ever had toxic shock syndrome.
  • Women who use diaphragms may get more bladder infections (urinary tract infections, or UTIs). This is probably because the rim of the diaphragm presses on the urethra and may irritate it. A woman who gets frequent UTIs may need a smaller diaphragm or may prefer not to use the diaphragm.
  • Some people are embarrassed to use this method or feel the method interrupts foreplay or intercourse.
  • A couple must be comfortable with using the diaphragm and be prepared to use it every time they have sex.
  • A diaphragm can't be used if either person is allergic to latex.

It is important to check your diaphragm for any cracks, holes, or other damage that would reduce its effectiveness. Do not use any petroleum-based vaginal creams, oils, or ointments, which can damage the rubber. But water-based personal lubricants, such as Astroglide and K-Y Jelly, are safe to use.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 03, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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