The diaphragm has been used by women since the 1880’s and the design hasn’t changed. It’s a dome shape, which is folded and slid inside the vagina until it cups the cervix. It creates a suction seal on its own. Spermicide is used for extra back-up and makes the diaphragm 88 percent effective, or 94 percent if followed correctly. The contraceptive pill is at 91 percent. The diaphragm is not as effective as the patch or an IUD at 99 percent. The rate of women who use a diaphragm is about 1 percent. It’s so rare, most pharmacist don’t provide them. The rate of women asking for a diaphragm at a Planned Parenthood clinic is about once a month.
The drawbacks to the original design were:-
1. The old diaphragm required women book an appointment at a clinic and be ‘sized’ for the diaphragm. You might be surprised to find vaginas have their own sizes. In this case; small, medium and large.
2. The ‘fitting’ requires the health-care provider to insert their own fingers to size the woman. This can be awkward for anyone not accustomed to having a stranger put their fingers inside you and tell you how big your vagina is.
3. The old diaphragm was difficult to remove. Remember the suction seal effect? It’s tricky to remove for that reason. There are stories of it flying out like a UFO, but that seems highly unlikely. Tampons don’t shoot across the room for the same reason.
The New Diaphragm is called the Caya. It comes in one size fits all, which means it will soon be available over the counter and without the intimate finger-sizing experience. It is ridged so it can be gripped with your fingers more easily and it has a nib on it for the same reason. It has been contoured to better fit the cervix and the silicon material is easy to insert.
Worldwide, nearly 225 million women who want to avoid pregnancy are not using modern contraception. In the US, nearly half of all pregnancies annually are unplanned. This is a new option for women who want to use a non-hormonal contraceptive. It lasts for five years and after a quick search on the internet, it looks like it will be available for less than $50 US dollars. However, most American women use applicator tampons. Regular tampons can be hard to find. The only drawback for this new product may be that American women don’t like touching their vaginas at all. For everyone else, it’s a new option.