Diaphragm (contraceptive) - Types


Diaphragms are available in diameters of 50mm to 105mm (about 2-4 inches). They are available in two different materials: latex (currently manufactured by Reflexions) and silicone (currently manufactured by Ortho, Milex and Semina). Diaphragms are also available with different types of springs in the rim.

An arcing spring folds into an arc shape when the sides are compressed. This is the strongest type of rim available in a diaphragm, and may be used by women with any level of vaginal tone. Unlike other spring types, arcing springs may be used by women with mild cystocele, rectocele, or retroversion. Arcing spring diaphragms may be easier to insert correctly than other spring types. Examples of arcing spring diaphragms are the Ortho All-Flex and the Milex Wide-Seal Arcing.

A coil spring flattens into an oval shape when the sides are compressed. This rim is not as strong as the arcing spring, and may only be used by women with average or firm vaginal tone. If an arcing spring diaphragm is uncomfortable for a woman or, during intercourse, her partner, a coil spring may prove more satisfactory. Unlike the arcing spring diaphragms, coil springs may be inserted with a device called an introducer. Examples of coil spring diaphragms are the Ortho Coil, the Milex Wide-Seal Omniflex, and the Semina diaphragm.

A flat spring is much like a coil spring, but thinner. This type of rim may only be used by women with firm vaginal tone. Flat spring diaphragms may also be inserted with an introducer for women uncomfortable using their hands. Ortho used to manufacture a flat-spring diaphragm called the Ortho White. While some providers may still have Ortho White diaphragms in stock, the only current manufacturer of a flat-spring diaphragm is Reflexions.

Variations on the traditional diaphragm are being tested. The SILCS diaphragm is made of silicone, has an arcing spring, and a finger cup is molded on one end for easy removal. The Duet disposable diaphragm is made of dipped polyurethane, pre-filled with BufferGel (BufferGel is currently in clinical trials as a spermicide and microbicide). Both the SILCS and Duet diaphragms are one-size-fits-all.

Read more about this topic:  Diaphragm (contraceptive)

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