Diaphragms and Spermicide
February 8, 2007 10:36 AM   Subscribe

New diaphragm: Tips, tricks, and spermicide recommendations, please.

I just got my first ever diaphragm, an Ortho All-Flex. I've read lots about effectiveness, potential side effects, standard techniques for using but I'm interested in anecdotal experiences. In particular, I'm curious about the different types and formulations of spermicide. I know you have to use the gel inside the diaphragm when first inserted but if you have sex again, within the 6 hours you need to leave it in after the first time you have sex, you're supposed to "reapply" spermicide. From what I can see, you have various options: foam, gel, and film. Are there benefits and/or problems that others who have experienced them can relate? I'm guessing that they all, ummmm, taste bad, right? Any other thoughts (yes, men, too!) are appreciated.
posted by otherwordlyglow to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The gel tastes bad and can make someone's tongue & lips kind of novocaineishly weird & numb. I have only ever used the gel - I've never even heard of foam or film. What I'm really curious about, though, is where and how you got a diaphragm? I just asked my OB/GYN for a new one and she told me that they weren't being manufactured anymore. They certainly don't seem to sell the gel anywhere either - I used to be able to get it at the supermarket, but I haven't seen it there in years.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:52 AM on February 8, 2007


What I'm really curious about, though, is where and how you got a diaphragm? I just asked my OB/GYN for a new one and she told me that they weren't being manufactured anymore. They certainly don't seem to sell the gel anywhere either - I used to be able to get it at the supermarket, but I haven't seen it there in years.

Well that's odd. I'm in San Francisco and I got the prescription from my Ob/Gyn and filled the prescription at good ol' Walgreen's. I hadn't heard anything about them not being manufactured anymore and no one seemed to think it odd that I was asking. The spermicidal stuff is all right there next to the condoms in the drug store. I had never noticed it before since I wasn't looking for it but it's looking freshly stocked in the two drug stores I've been in over the last two days to investigate.

Planned Parenthood still talks about them.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:19 PM on February 8, 2007


Have a sense of humor. My grand experience involved a diaphragm that went shooting across the room and hit the wall. Yeah insertion can be tricky. Spermicide stains flat paint. I have used the film and it's awkward because if you don't wait long enough for it to melt completely it umm (sheesh the things I put on the internet) comes out in blob.
posted by yodelingisfun at 4:23 PM on February 8, 2007


Here's a bit of unsolicited advice - don't ever leave your diaphragm in longer than the specified time. I got Toxic Shock Syndrome after mine had been in for several hours longer than the specified time (all night plus a few hours in the morning) and I very nearly died. I'm not telling you to be afraid to use one - they're safe enough, and TSS is rare (something like 60 women per year in the U.S.), and I had used one safely for years. Just follow the directions, and if you do get severe flu-like symptoms the next day, get to a doctor or hospital quickly instead of waiting like I did.
posted by onemorething at 7:47 PM on February 8, 2007


An old girlfriend of mine used one. We only used the gel, so I can't say much about the different types of spermicide. I would suggest, though, that you have your partner insert it. It's much easier to do when your hand is straight and it can become a part of foreplay.
posted by concrete at 10:05 PM on February 8, 2007


I always loved the foam: it comes squirting out and drives the applicator plunger up in a very suggestive way. Fun! Foam is also supposed to spread out more reliably than gel. Don't know about the film.

There's nothing to do about the taste. If you're full of spermicide, and your partner is covered with spermicide, you're just not going to be into cunnilingus or fellatio. The way I handled it was to monitor my temperature and have unprotected sex on my safe days. Because we could also have protected sex when in doubt - or when certain we weren't safe - we weren't as tempted to cheat. Communication is vital, though. At least one of you needs to have the fortitude to back off and confirm that it is in fact a safe day. What I hated most was my partner forging on ahead without checking in with me on the grounds that I would have stopped him if necessary. I didn't want to be the only one caring.

As far as effectiveness: I've been conscientious and assertive enough that despite an early start, multiple partners (some of them strangers) and 26 years of activity I have never been pregnant and never had an STD. (Ok, so I was a dyke for ten of those years. But still, no STDs.)

My current partner is a man... but he has a vasectomy! I am sooo happy. It's relaxed again, like sex with a woman. No anxious waiting every month.
posted by kika at 5:07 AM on February 9, 2007


« Older Why can't my friend move to a new job?   |   He farts and he cusses and stinks up the busses Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.