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Why Women are Switching to the Diaphragm as a Birth Control Alternative

September 9, 2022

When it comes to family planning and pregnancy prevention, you’ve got options. In fact, you’ve got twenty options. There are 20 different contraceptive methods to choose from today. From birth control pills to patches, rings, or condoms, there’s bound to be a method that works best for you.

One of these methods is making a comeback. It’s been around for centuries and got placed on the back burner for a while, but it’s starting to gain traction again. It’s the diaphragm.

Diaphragms offer benefits that other methods lack. Let’s see why women are starting to take a second look at using a diaphragm for their chosen method of birth control.

Women are Sick of Side Effects Caused by Hormonal Birth Control

When choosing a birth control method, we may have taken for granted the simplicity of the diaphragm. As a barrier method, its job is to block sperm from entering the cervix. That’s it. The great thing about this simple method is that it comes with very few side effects, if any at all.

Hormonal birth control methods, like the pill, were introduced in the 1960s and offered a better effectiveness rating than barrier methods. But what we didn’t take into consideration when making the switch to hormone-altering contraceptives was the addition of harmful side effects.

Many women are now facing all sorts of negative side effects from hormonal contraceptives, which include:

  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood Clots
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Bone loss
  • Ovarian cysts

Diaphragms offer an alternative to hormonal contraceptives without serious side effects. The short list of potential side effects from diaphragms includes the possibility of irritation, allergic reaction, increased risk of UTIs and vaginal infections, or toxic shock syndrome in rare cases.

Couples Want to Be in Control of Their Fertility

Another factor at play for the increase in popularity of the diaphragm is when it comes to fertility. Diaphragms require no waiting period once you’re ready to try to conceive. This barrier method is immediately reversible, so once you stop using it, you are good to go. That’s because diaphragms do not alter your body’s natural reproductive cycle. Women who use a diaphragm continue to ovulate normally.

That is in direct opposition to other non-barrier contraceptive options, which in a sense, “break” the body’s normal cycles in order to prevent pregnancy. Hormonal contraceptives alter a woman’s reproductive hormones, and it takes a while for her body to return to normal after discontinuing birth control. Here’s how long you may have to wait for your fertility to return after discontinuing hormonal birth control:

  • Injection: one year
  • The pill: three months
  • Implantable rod: two months
  • IUD: two months
  • The patch: four months
  • Vaginal ring: three months

Couples are switching to the diaphragm so that they can be in charge of their own fertility.


Related: Diaphragms as Birth Control: A Couple’s Perspective on Barrier Methods 


Diaphragms Solve a Problem for People Who Can’t Tolerate Medications, Injections, or Painful Procedures

Diaphragms are easy and painless. Similar to a condom, you just use it when you need it. Before you have sex, you put it in. If you’re not having sex, you don’t need to use it. That’s what makes the diaphragm a great solution for those of us who don’t want to have to have to:

  • Remember to take a pill every day
  • Go into the doctor for multiple injections each year
  • Go through a painful experience of having an IUD or implant inserted

All of these uncomfortable, annoying situations can be avoided completely for those of us who decide to use a diaphragm for our contraceptive method.

Diaphragms Offer a More Natural Method of Birth Control

It seems that culture is trending back toward natural products, foods, and other choices. So it follows that natural birth control should also gain in popularity. Since diaphragms do not alter your body’s chemistry, they can be considered natural, along with the other non-hormonal methods. While you may hear people say that natural birth control methods are not as effective, keep in mind that when you combine diaphragms with other family planning strategies, like fertility awareness-based methods, it can significantly increase effectiveness.


Related: 5 Tips to Supercharge Your Contraceptive Diaphragm’s Effectiveness


Who Should Avoid Using a Diaphragm?

While many couples are turning to the diaphragm to meet their contraceptive needs, there are some women who should avoid this method of birth control. If any of the situations listed here apply to you, then  you might want to seek another alternative to the diaphragm:

  • Uterine or vaginal physical abnormality making fitting difficult
  • Recent childbirth (6 weeks), the cervix needs to return to normal size
  • Recent pelvic surgery
  • Frequent UTIs
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Allergies to spermicide
  • Not comfortable inserting the device into your own vagina
  • History of TSS

Making the Switch to the Diaphragm

If you’ve ever considered trying a diaphragm, now may be one of the best times in history to try it out. A new type of diaphragm was released on the market within the last decade. It comes in a one-size-fits-most model and patients are able to skip that awkward in-person fitting that is required with the older style diaphragms.

My Virtual Physician has partnered with Caya to streamline the process of getting your diaphragm prescription fulfilled so that this new method of contraception is readily available to you.

Take charge of your reproductive health today and schedule your appointment to discuss contraceptive options that work for you.

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