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Long distance boyfriend - Diaphragm/Cervical Cap?

(20 Posts)
StringAndSealingWax Sat 14-Oct-17 21:48:41

I have a long distance boyfriend who I only see every 4-6 months, generally for a couple of weeks at a time.

We haven't slept together (well not penetrative sex - we've done most things up to that point) because we'd be be happier doubling up on contraception.

But with that sort of gap I don't really want to use hormonal contraception or the copper coil, because most of the time I won't need it and my periods don't cause any bother so I'd prefer not to risk messing about with them. I also have migraines, so hormonal stuff is a bit more complicated.

Does anybody use a diaphragm or cap? I know the effectiveness rates are a bit lower than hormonal, but we would be using it with condoms too. I like the idea that it can just be used when he's here, and then put away again.

If you do, how do you find it and has it worked for you? Can you DP feel it? Has it ever dislodged?

Thank you smile

StringAndSealingWax Mon 16-Oct-17 20:25:12

Nobody? I really would like to get something sorted because he can't finish other than from penetration, so not doing any PIV is making me feel sorry for him!

LemonLimerance Tue 24-Jul-18 10:20:28

Bump! I am in the exact same circumstance.

Also wondering about the NuvaRing

WeAreEternal Tue 24-Jul-18 10:45:11

I’ve used both a diaphragm and a cap.
Personally I prefer the diaphragm.

I’ve been using it exclusively for over 10 years, but on and off before that.

I love it and wish they were recommended more.
They are so much easier to use than condoms and if used with spermicidal gel are much more effective.

DH has never felt it, it’s completely comfortable, can be worn for days at a time (just taking it out every so often for a wash) without any ill effects.
It has never dislodged or caused any problems at all.

I wear it most days, we have sex at least once a day usually and I’ve never had any problems (or pregnancy scares).

It can be popped in a while before DTD and left in after, so no mood killing like you would get with condoms.

I really wish they were prompted more as a contraceptive, they would save the nhs a fortune and are much better for the health of woman and the environment than hormonal contraceptives and condoms.

It can take a while to get used to at first, and will be somewhat uncomfortable for a little while, just while your body gets used to it. But once you are used to it you can’t eveb feel it.

WeAreEternal Tue 24-Jul-18 10:46:01

Oh gosh, I just been realised how kind the op was. blush

WeAreEternal Tue 24-Jul-18 10:46:21


LemonLimerance Tue 24-Jul-18 10:50:59

Doesn’t matter eternal, like I said I am interested to hear experiences too. The OP just wrote it all it better than I could.

Thanks for writing all that out - I was leaving towards cap as it seems smaller and less likely to be felt, but maybe I’m not understanding? I also don’t really get howto diaphragm “blocks” off the cervix, since (in my case at least, and according to the diagrams I’ve seen online) the cervix is not at the very end of the vaginal canal, rather at the top sort of on the side almost? So it seems as though the diaphragm would have to sit partway down the canal?

Honey2468 Tue 24-Jul-18 16:38:34

It sits behind a groove at the top sort of. Didn’t work for me but it’s worth ago. Uk they are called caya and you can get them from sexual health clinics and I think you can buy them online too but I haven’t tried that.
I’ve been told they don’t give out the ring uk. Definitely not in my area anyways, because it’s too expensive. They also refuse to give out Yasmin or yas here too and they have/stock the patch but refuse to give it because of expense. Diaphragm would be a good idea for you, good luck

Chasingsquirrels Tue 24-Jul-18 16:45:31

I thought the cap / diaghphram were the same thing?
I haven't used one but am going for a fitting in a few weeks.
Similar reasons to the OP, I don't want to use hormonal contraception or the copper coil, and would prefer no to be using condoms.
I'm getting mine via the GP.

Honey2468 Tue 24-Jul-18 17:07:37

No, they look pretty different but I never used the cap, gave up after the diaphragm lol. Nobody at my practice knew how to do fittings as they said nobody really used them anymore. Only one dr at sh clinic done them, hope it works out for you!

WeAreEternal Tue 24-Jul-18 18:56:11

It’s entirely personal preference.
I didn’t find the cap as comfortable or as easy to use.

The diaphragm is larger and thinner than a cap,
You are completely right about the location of the cervix,
it’s hard to explain how it fits in but basically you insert the folded diagram right up so the ‘top’ goes past the cervix and to the ‘back’ of your vagina, then the diaphragm unfolds and covers your cervix and you push the ‘bottom’ of the diaphragm forward with the tip of your finger to hook it under your pubic bone.
It sits wedged there happily until you take it out.

Ive been using a generic diaphragm since my teenage years ( I’m mid 30’s now) I tried a caya but personally hated it.
I could feel it constantly and DH could feel it too, I use a standard ‘medium’ size diaphragm but the caya ‘one size fits all’ diaphragm felt far too big, it was also a firmer silicone and I just didn’t like it.

The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone trying a diaphragm is to stick with it for a couple of months.
It’s definitely going to be uncomfortable at first, it’s going to take a while to get used to it and it’s going to seem like a massive faff at first but I promise it’s the best contraceptive out there and it’s worth taking the time to get used to it.

LemonLimerance Wed 25-Jul-18 08:45:35

Thank you all!

I looked up more diagrams eternal and I see now what you mean. I was imagining it sat so that the, uh, male appendage met a concave surface, but I see now that the diaphragm sits convex over the entire cervix area.

I’m worried that the GUM clinic I go to will only have Caya... where did you get your smaller thinner one?


claraschu Wed 25-Jul-18 08:49:16

Cervical cap was great for me, but I haven't tried the diaphragm, so can't compare. I think the failure rate might be down to inconsistent or ineffective use.

I am always sad that these methods aren't recommended more.

lennyisnuts Wed 25-Jul-18 09:01:16

These methods are good but not as effective as hormonal methods of non hormonal coils etc. If used 100% per guidance they are only 92% effective compared to the 99% effective ness of other methods.
Certainly though they are better than nothing at all!
As a family planning clinician we still recommend that all women in peak fertility use these methods ASWELL as condoms so not one or the other but both together.
It is a more reliable method for women over 40 than say a 20 year old.
They are not so commonly used for this reason so not all GUM services who offer contraception will have a trained member of staff who knows how to measure for one. I would suggest phoning the service beforehand to make sure someone is available to do this for you so you don't have a wasted trip.

LemonLimerance Wed 25-Jul-18 09:11:38

“ not as effective as hormonal methods of non hormonal coils etc.”

Is that a typo? The copper coil is, surely, non-hormonal?

LemonLimerance Wed 25-Jul-18 09:15:23

Lenny that is good advice, I’ve read so many stories about women going to get a diaphragm and no one being around to fit it!

I am 38, I did have a tendency to get pregnant quite easily in the past, but it’s been over 4 years since that happened and I guess I’m on the other side of the fertility drop zone.

There’s no way I’d use a condom as well, I think I’d rather take my chances. If my partner got on with them better then yes. But sex is actually impossible once we try to introduce a condom to proceedings!

lennyisnuts Wed 25-Jul-18 18:37:03

@LemonLimerance yes typo sorry!

WeAreEternal Wed 25-Jul-18 22:32:58

You can’t get a caya diaphragm from GUM or the nhs, they simply don’t have them, the only way to get them is to purchase them yourself (they are sold on amazon)

My generic standard diaphragms are from the nhs/gp on prescription.

It really frustrates me that more gps aren’t willing to size/fit diaphragms.
You are comp Within your rights to call around practices asking if someone is able to do them there.

I have known midwives that have been happy to ‘size’ cervix’s and suggest a size, but that’s not idea as really it’s better to have it properly checked, but a lot of women struggle to find anyone to do it.

It’s really annoying as diaphragms are amazing and I wish they were prompted over harmful hormones or the ‘non hormonal’ coil that works by irritating your womb so much it has a contraceptive effect.

WeAreEternal Wed 25-Jul-18 22:36:37

Completely within*

LemonLimerance Wed 25-Jul-18 22:55:34

eternal thank you. Yes I agree. I have never liked the idea of hormonal treatments or random foreign bodies that live inside you for years at a time.

My libido is finally where I want it, no way am I tinkering with my hormones now!

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