Diaphragms and caps are classed as barrier methods as they cover your cervix (entrance to the uterus - womb) and stop sperm reaching an egg.

About the diaphragm and caps

They come in different shapes and sizes and need to be fitted by a doctor or nurse the first time to make sure you get the one that fits you right and to teach you how to use it. They will also advise you on how to use the spermicide (a chemical that kills sperm) which must be applied every time you use a diaphragm or cap.

Diaphragms are shaped like a dome and are made of flexible latex (rubber) or silicone. Caps are made from the same material but are smaller in size. You will need to fit a diaphragm or cap into the vagina every time you have sex in order to protect against pregnancy.

How it works

There are several benefits of using the patch including:

Diaphragms and caps must be used with spermicidal cream and together they are 92 - 96% effective against pregnancy. They give no protection against STIs so always use a condom to protect against contracting an STI.

It must be left in place for 6 hours minimum after sex but no longer than the recommended time, which is 30 hours for latex and 48 hours for silicone. More spermicide will need to be applied if you have sex again within 6 hours.

How to remove one

A diaphragm or cap can easily be removed by gently hooking your finger under its rim, loop or strap and pulling it downwards and then out.