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Barrier Methods
Introduction Contents Post-Test References Go To Presenter Info


Section 1
Section 2

- Information
- Objectives
- Male Condom
- Properties
- Latex
- Plastic
- Correct Use
- Breakage
- Behaviors
- Cautions
- Protection
- Female
- Characteristics
- Use
- Spermicides
- Characteristics
- Correct Use
- Preferences
- Diaphragm
> Characteristics
- Considerations
- Correct Use
- Fitting
- Follow-up
- Sponge
- New Methods

Section 3


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Section 2 - Method Information

Characteristics of the Diaphragm and Cervical Cap

Diaphragm and cervical cap:

  • must be fitted by a health-care provider
  • can be inserted up to 6 hours prior to intercourse
  • must be properly cleaned and stored


  • some protection against cervical infections
  • may increase incidence of bacterial vaginosis or urinary tract infections in women

Cervical cap:

  • may be less effective in parous women

Slide 30

Diaphragms and cervical caps are the only barrier methods that must be fitted by a trained provider for proper sizing. When properly fitted, neither device should be felt by the client or her partner during intercourse. These devices can be inserted up to six hours prior to intercourse. Both devices can be reused, but access to clean water is necessary for proper cleaning after use. A proper storage location is also needed.

Diaphragms used with spermicides theoretically protect against the transmission of cervical infections. However, diaphragm use has been associated with bacterial vaginosis due to changes in the vaginal flora. The effect of diaphragms on viral STDs and of the cap on all STDs is not known.

Research has shown that the use of the diaphragm may increase a woman’s risk for developing urinary tract infections. This is particularly true if the diaphragm is too large, which may cause the diaphragm to put pressure on the urethra.

The cervical cap appears to be less effective in parous women because of changes in the cervix as a result of childbirth.



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