tips from a certified diaphragm fitter
The learning curve:
It’s important to understand that there is a learning curve when starting to use cervical barriers and that the most failures occur within the first few months of use. We urge members new to using a diaphragm or cap to use another effective method of contraception (usually condoms) while testing the fit and function of your barrier with several energetic acts of intercourse in each of as many positions as you typically use to gain confidence that your barrier will not displace before you use it for contraception.
Initial barrier wearing:
It is a good idea to wear a new diaphragm or cap for at least 6 to 8 hours (the minimum safe wearing interval after intercourse) during days before you use it for protection to make sure it’s comfortable. That will also give you time to wear it ‘dry’ (w/o spermicide in the dome) so you can see what your normal cervical fluids that collect in the dome look like when it is removed.
Check that your cervix is protected:
Just because your diaphragm is comfortable after insertion does not mean it is covering your cervix. Your fingers need to be long enough to check the position of your diaphragm or cap – to feel the tip of your cervix beneath the dome – to make certain that it is correctly positioned so the dome is covering your cervix. You should check the position of your diaphragm immediately before and again immediately after each act of intercourse to make sure everything is where it should be.
It is important that you wear the largest size diaphragm you can comfortably wear when not aroused because when aroused your vagina lengthens (tents) considerably. The largest size comfortable is particularly important when using a position where you can be deeply penetrated, like when being taken from behind, doggie style.
A wearing regimen:
It is a very good idea to develop a wearing routine with your diaphragm or cap inserting before your partner comes home or every night before bed – or what ever works best for your lifestyle – so you don’t get caught unprotected and find yourself having a ‘just-this-once’ encounter. That sort of thing is called ‘user failure’ and is responsible for a very large percentage of the unintended pregnancies that occur while using cervical barriers. Women who are in very spontaneous relationships often like to use a continuous wearing regimen. (Leaving it in for 24 hours for example, then washing and re-inserting)
For more expert advice like this join the yahoo group for cervical barrier users