If you need birth control, but you don't want to use chemical methods, you need to consider using a diaphragm. One of the great things about diaphragms is that they control unwanted pregnancies without the need of medical interventions such as birth control pills or shots. If you decide to go with birth control pills later on, the diaphragm is a great way to maintain protection against unwanted pregnancies while you're waiting for the effectiveness of your pills to kick in. If you do decide to go with a diaphragm, here are four things you'll need to know.
You Need to Inspect Them
Because diaphragms are made of medical-grade rubber, they can get holes in them. That's why it's crucial that you inspect them before each use. One way to do that is to hold your diaphragm up to the light. Another way to inspect your diaphragm is to fill it with water and watch for leaks. If you can see light through your diaphragm, or you've got a leak or two, it's time for a new diaphragm. You should also check for small tears, or other damage that will require a replacement diaphragm.
They Need to be Cleaned
Because your diaphragm will be going inside of you, it will need to be cleaned after each use. The last thing you want is to place a dirty diaphragm inside your vagina. After each use, wash your diaphragm in warm water and use a mild antibacterial soap. Be sure to rinse your diaphragm well with clear water and allow it to air dry before placing it back in its storage container.
They Need to be Replaced
Because your body changes over time, and even medical-grade rubber can wear out, your diaphragm will need to be replaced from time to time. When you go in for your annual checkups with your gynecologist, be sure to bring your diaphragm with you. Your doctor will measure your vaginal opening, and inspect your diaphragm to ensure a proper fit. If your body has changed, or your diaphragm has worn out, your doctor will fit you for a new one.
You Need to Know the Warning Signs
When it comes to using birth control, it's important to know the warning signs associated with each type of method. When using diaphragms, you'll need to know the warning signs of vaginal infections. If you develop vaginal pain, difficulty during urination, vaginal itching, discharge or unexplained fevers, you should talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Contact a clinic, like Western Branch Center for Women, for more help.