Chapter 17: Family planning
The diaphragm is a shallow cup of soft rubber that the woman
wears in her vagina during sex. The diaphragm covers the
cervix so that the man’s sperm cannot get into her womb.
The diaphragm should be used with spermicide (see
page 305). When a diaphragm is used correctly, it is
effective in preventing pregnancy and may also give
some protection against STIs, like HIV.
Diaphragms come in different sizes. A health worker must help a woman find
the right size. Midwives can learn to fit women for diaphragms. It is easy to do
once you have been trained.
How to use a diaphragm
1. Squeeze some spermicide
into the center of the
spread a little around
the edge of the diaphragm. If you do not
have spermicide, you can still use the
diaphragm, but it may not work as well.
2. Squeeze the
diaphragm in half.
3. Push the
right over the
If the diaphragm
is in correctly,
can feel her
4. Leave the diaphragm in place for at least 6 hours after sex. If the
woman has sex again before 6 hours have passed, she should put more
spermicide in her vagina first.
After using the diaphragm, the woman should wash it in mild soap
and water. Then she should dry it, dust it in cornstarch if she has any,
and store it in a clean, closed container.
A Book for Midwives (2010)