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Diaphragm with Spermicide

What Is It?

Dome-shaped latex cup with flexible rim to cover the cervix

How Does It Work?

  • Cup acts as barrier to sperm
  • Spermicide kills sperm

How Is It Used?

  • Clinician fits woman with proper size and teaches correct use
  • Spermicide is placed in the cup before inserting no more than 2 hours before sex
  • Diaphragm should be left in place for at least 6 hours after sex
  • Additional spermicide is needed for each act of intercourse


84% - 94%
Failure rate increases if you have sex more than 3 times a week


Can be placed in the vagina up to 2 hours before sex

Possible Concerns:

  • Requires a clinic visit for sizing and prescription for diaphragm
  • Some people are allergic to the latex or the spermicide
  • Must be removed within 24 hours to avoid pelvic pressure, vaginal discharge, irritation or toxic shock
  • May increase risk for vaginal and urinary tract infections
  • Spermicide use may cause irritation or discomfort
  • Frequent spermicide use (> or = 2 times/day) may cause irritation that may increase susceptibility to HIV
  • Cannot be used with oil-based lubricants or vaginal medications