- 82-86 % Effective
- No STI Protection
- 24 hours
On this page
- What is the diaphragm (Caya)?
- How effective is the diaphragm?
- How does the diaphragm work?
- How do I use the diaphragm?
- Where can I get the diaphragm?
- What stops the diaphragm from working?
- What is good about the diaphragm?
- Are there any side effects from using the diaphragm?
- Can the diaphragm cause any serious health problems?
- Reasons why the diaphragm might not be a good option for you:
- What if I had sex without using the diaphragm?
- What happens if I get pregnant while I am using the diaphragm?
- Can I use the diaphragm after I have had a baby?
- What else should I know about the diaphragm?
- Where to get more information and support
What is the diaphragm (Caya)?
A diaphragm is a shallow, cup-shape made of silicone. In Australia there is one size of diaphragm available, sold as Caya. It is used with a special gel (jelly-like material), sold as Caya Gel.
How effective is the diaphragm?
The diaphragm is 86% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly, every time you have sex. Incorrect use, not inserting properly before sex or removing too soon after sex, mean that the diaphragm might only be 82% effective at preventing pregnancy.
How does the diaphragm work?
The diaphragm and gel work as a barrier to prevent sperm from passing from the vagina, through the cervix and into the uterus. The sperm die off quickly in the vagina.
How do I use the diaphragm?
Check the expiry date before use. Place a teaspoon of Caya Gel in the cup of the diaphragm. Then squeeze the diaphragm and insert it into your vagina so it covers the cervix (opening to the uterus/womb).
The diaphragm may be inserted up to 2 hours before having sex. It must stay in place for at least 6 hours after sex. If you have sex again with the diaphragm in, you should insert another teaspoon of the Caya Gel into the vagina. The diaphragm can stay in place for a maximum of 24 hours.
After use and removal from the vagina, the diaphragm should be rinsed clean with warm water and unperfumed soap, patted dry and returned to its case. It should be stored away from heat.
A doctor or nurse can provide information about how to insert the diaphragm correctly and comfortably. You can also watch a video with instructions from the Caya website.
Before you use the diaphragm during sex, you can ask a doctor or nurse to check you are inserting it correctly and it fits. The diaphragm is the wrong shape for about one in seven people.
Where can I get the diaphragm?
You can buy the diaphragm and gel from some pharmacies/chemist, sexual health and family planning clinics, and online.
What stops the diaphragm from working?
The diaphragm might not work if it is:
- not inserted correctly
- used without the gel
- taken out less than 6 hours after sex
- past its expiry date or has been used for 2 years or longer.
What is good about the diaphragm?
- You can insert it hours before having sex.
- It has little or no side effects.
- You can buy it without a script.
Are there any side effects from using the diaphragm?
Possible side effects for a small number of users can include:
- Irritation of the vagina or penis.
- Increased risk of bladder infection for the user.
Can the diaphragm cause any serious health problems?
The diaphragm might cause a very rare blood infection called toxic shock.
Reasons why the diaphragm might not be a good option for you
If you are:
- prone to bladder infections
- within 6 weeks after giving birth
- unable to feel if your cervix is correctly covered by the diaphragm
- or if you have a history of toxic shock syndrome.
What if I had sex without using the diaphragm?
If you do not want to get pregnant, you might need emergency contraception, if you had sex without using the diaphragm or other type of contraception (check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist).
What happens if I get pregnant while I am using the diaphragm?
It is safe to continue the pregnancy (and stop using the diaphragm) or to have an abortion.
Can I use the diaphragm after I have had a baby?
You should usually wait six weeks after having a baby to start using the diaphragm.
What else should I know about the diaphragm?
- The diaphragm does not protect against sexually transmissible infections (STIs). The diaphragm can be used with external or internal condoms to provide STI protection.
- After the first use, you should not use the diaphragm for longer than 2 years and a new diaphragm should be purchased.
- The diaphragm is one of many types of contraception. See other contraceptive options
You might be interested in watching:
Where to get more information and support
- Sexual Health Victoria
- A doctor or nurse
- Your local community health service
- An obstetrician or gynaecologist
- 1800 My Options phone line 1800 696 784 or website
- Better Health Channel
- Equinox – for transgender services
- Jean Hailes
- Marie Stopes Australia
- Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health
- The Women’s (The Royal Women’s Hospital)