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
- may be less effective in parous women
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 womans 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.