#1 The Sceptical Lady’s Guide to the Diaphragm: Why does EVERY Woman Need One?

The Sceptical Lady's Guide to the Diaphragm: Why does EVERY Woman Need One?

Get yourself the vagina accessory that is all about pleasure not pain

Diaphragm diagram
Warning: Contains explicit content ♦ & is not to be used as medical advice ♥ Disclaimer here

Diaphragms are a safe, effective, intimate form of contraception. So why don't we all own one? For a start, a lot of people have never even heard of them...

So what is a diaphragm?

  • A diaphragm is a barrier method of contraception
  • You go for a fitting to get the right size and then you use it whenever there's going to be penetration and sperm flying around
  • They used to be very popular & now it's their turn for a comeback

It’s like a little hat that protects your womb from the shower of sperm.

Specifically, a diaphragm is a silicone or latex dome that is a bit smaller than the palm of your hand. You put it in your vagina before sex and it stays wedged at the very top, covering your cervix. This means the man can spunk inside of you and the diaphragm acts as a barrier; blocking the sperm from being able to get into your womb to reach an egg. The sperm die within a few hours and you can then take the diaphragm out.

They used to be far more popular; even in the year 2000 about 10% of women in the US were using one, but now very few women do. Often diaphragms are thought of as a ‘risky’ option (which is ironic because no woman has ever died from their use of a diaphragm to my knowledge, whereas coils, rings, patches and pills have all caused deaths) but diaphragms are actually very effective in preventing pregnancy if used correctly!

Diaphragm in case
Like a really disappointing pearl inside of a clam. What won't be disappointing though is getting to have great sex whilst remaining baby-free

Everybody needs one:

So you're probably looking at that image above and thinking 'WHERE THE HELL is that thing supposed to fit because my vagina is gorgeous and perfect and tight-like-a-tiger and certainly not some kind of spacious Mary Poppins bag!...'

But my hunch would be that you have never actually felt your own cervix and/or pubic bone; I certainly hadn’t until I went for my diaphragm fitting (the next post will detail my journey of discovery - otherwise known as One Nurse Two Fingers).

Dive in and find your cervix! If you always have and always will be a straight woman; this may be your only opportunity to go muff diving.

If you put two fingers up inside your vagina you will be able to feel the ledge of your pubic bone at the front and then if you go up past this as far as you can you might be able to feel your cervix (or more technically - your cervical opening / external os).

Throughout the month the shape of your cervical opening changes slightly; it may be like a small squishy donut that feels fairly similar to the rest of your vagina walls, or it may feel more like a little round doorknob protruding out, commonly described as similar to the tip of your nose. Before or after your period is the easiest time to find it as it’s a bit firmer and slightly lower (resting one leg higher up on say the edge of the bath and then squatting a bit helps too).

I just had a go to remind myself... I found it, then got a bit lost and confused up there, then found it again. So if you’re not sure or you just can't reach it - no worries - when you get your diaphragm the nurse will make sure you're getting it right.

Diagram of womb and vulva parts
Not to scale drawing of the outside and inside of a fanny. The vagina leads up to the cervix, which opens up to the womb (uterus). The vulva is the whole of the external parts of the female genitals, including the inner and outer lips, clitoris and entrance to the vagina.

For some of you this might be sounding a bit freaky and when you're new to this kind of exploration it can indeed feel pretty peculiar… you’re basically touching part of your very core and not only that but many women, if not most, have had some form of trauma in this area. Relax, be gentle, and be open minded and curious to any sensations you experience in these amazing delicate parts of you. ❤

What do you do with the diaphragm?

  • Put it in before sex with a little bit of spermicide
  • Take it out the next morning in the shower (or when the sperm are dead: minimum 6 hours after sex but I would recommend waiting longer)
  • Own it and feel powerful

To get the diaphragm in position you squeeze the sides together so it fits up your vagina, then angle it so it covers the cervix and is wedged in place behind the ledge of your pubic bone (don’t worry there will be a lesson on this and once you've practised a few times it's easy).

 In my experience the diaphragm hasn’t been that much more annoying than condoms and it’s definitely more pleasurable for both me and my partner

- Emma McGowan, sex educator and long term user of the diaphragm

Diaphragm diagram during sex
To put it all into context here is the diaphragm in use - mid-f*ck. See how it fits over the cervical opening and prevents that guy's cum from getting anywhere troublesome.

You need to put a bit of spermicide on the diaphragm (a gel that kills or immobilises sperm), pop it in before you have sex and feel to check it's in the right place. There are important guidelines on when exactly you can remove it after sex, which we will go over in the following posts, but the easiest thing to do is take it out in the shower the next day.

But won't it confuse the hell out of your f*ck buddy?!

If you're in a relationship you will at some point have had to at least mention contraception to each other, so it won't be such a big deal to say hey there's this weird thing I've read about, shall we try it? (for some couples these kind of chats are totally normal, but for others who are more shy and private about these matters it might take a bit of courage, that's ok too).

But what if you're having casual sex? I'll begin by saying all men should be well aware of what contraception the female they are f*cking is using and should have no problem discussing it, seeing it, getting involved with it etc etc.

However, let's also be real, most of us are a bit awkward and squeamish and talking about cervixes and spermicide with a banging new date is not top on the list of 'ice-breakers'.

Rest assured; as soon as you say the magical words 'you can cum in me' you're not likely to encounter much protest or questioning! (Also, as I was, you might be pleasantly surprised by their genuine curiosity and enthusiasm). Us women lead the way, if we can talk openly about these kinds of things without feeling like we should be embarrassed or apologetic, then the men are able (and willing) to do so too.

(Caveat: with casual sex everyone should be thinking condoms-condoms-condoms to protect from STDs - more on the complexities of this issue in the next Diaphragm Guide posts)

 Betty: During the sexual revolution we all had diaphragms, we were in control of our own birth control. Carlin: I never got pregnant on a diaphragm, ever! and I am very fertile and so are you. Betty: Yes, I never got pregnant on a diaphragm... (laughter) except the time I didn't put it in!  

Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross, renowned sex educators

The diaphragm is simply woefully under appreciated. It has no side effects, you get skin to skin contact, and it’s as effective as a condom if used properly.

It is also a contraception that is completely in your control; you keep it inside you, no one else has to see it or have any input, and you know wtf is going on with it and your body.

OWN IT

Being in complete control of our own contraception is not something we are used to and let me tell you, it feels f*cking fantastic. Once you have a diaphragm you’re not reliant on prescriptions and passing some bullsh*t quiz at the doctors, you don’t have to even consider your fella’s stance on condoms, you don’t have to wait for weeks for an appointment if you want it removed and nobody can take it away from you. It’s your fertility, your body and your decisions.

It‘s truly empowering. Which is not a word I use lightly.

Plus, it’s an accessory for your vagina, what's not to love?! I kept mine in a leopard print pouch and used it with great SATISFACTION.

Next up: How Do You Use a Diaphragm? When to Put It In, Out & Shake It All About

Over to You:

Have you used a diaphragm? Are you interested in using one but hesitant because they are so unpopular? Leave any thoughts or questions below and if you know anyone who might benefit from hearing about this please use the share buttons below too!

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