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Family planning

Where can I get a diaphragm?

34 replies

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 09:04

Tried GP and two sexual health clinics and nowhere seems to do them despite the NHS website saying they're available.

I was told my best bet would be to buy one off Amazon and watch a YouTube video on how to fit it! Which I would do, except I don't know what size to get and can't find anything online about how to find out.

Any advice gratefully received.

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MeetMeAtOurSpot · 17/11/2021 10:28

Privately? Once you have the sizing you could then buy yourself.
Google private diaphragm fitting & your area to find one near you.

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 19:35

Thanks very much for your reply. I can't find any in my local area. It seems ridiculous that it's so hard to get access to such a basic method of contraception. Appreciate your reply though.

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DramaAlpaca · 17/11/2021 19:40

Diaphragms absolutely need to be properly fitted if they are going to be at all reliable, but unfortunately there aren't many nurses these days who are trained to fit them. Hopefully you'll manage to find a clinic that does them.

Bagelsandbrie · 17/11/2021 20:08

This is what I was given via the NHS sexual health clinic near me - exactly this. It comes in one size now, it’s very flexible. Not like the old style ones I used to use about 20 years ago…! Obviously I didn’t have to pay as mine was free from the NHS but you can buy it here….
Caya Diaphragm and Natural Contraceptive Gel Pack with FREE Applicator

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 20:38

Thank you @Bagelsandbrie. I've been doing some research online and that does seem to be the one to go for.

It states on their website that it's only suitable for 80% of women though and that you need to get measured first.

I feel that this method of contraception really should be available on the NHS and can't believe it's so difficult to obtain.

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LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 20:39

Out of interest @Bagelsandbrie, how long ago did you get given that and did they measure you at all?

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Bagelsandbrie · 17/11/2021 20:50


Out of interest *@Bagelsandbrie*, how long ago did you get given that and did they measure you at all?

About a year or so ago I think. I had to use non hormonal methods for about 6 weeks due to some checks I had to have done with endocrinology and I hate condoms - I’d used a cap before about 20 years ago and assumed it would be the same thing again but was given this instead. They didn’t measure me, or even get me to insert it or check
It. It was basically talking me through the risks / how to use it and then they gave it to me along with a bag of condoms!

I found it okay but being honest not quite as comfortable as the one I’d had 20 years ago. I was desperate to remove it after the set amount of hours afterwards.
ShaneTheThird · 17/11/2021 20:53

I also have the caya diaphragm, no fittings and just a here ya go get on with it. My best friend used to get fitted at her gp and then they stopped. No idea why this is being stopped.

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 20:54

That's interesting @Bagelsandbrie. I can't believe they don't measure women for it anymore. I think it's shocking and is really a feminist issue.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's something to do with it being less profitable for pharmaceutical companies. It's such a basic method of contraception it shouldn't be this hard to get help with it.

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LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 20:56

Thanks for your feedback too @ShaneTheThird. Seems to be a widespread issue.

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Grainofsand · 17/11/2021 20:57

Along with refusing to sterilise women on the NHS as “it’s not cost effective” - we can’t even get access to a basic method of contraception.

They seem to just push hormones or the coil!

Bagelsandbrie · 17/11/2021 20:57

I think it should definitely be a choice but I think the reason they don’t promote it so much is because the effectivity is less than the pill / condoms etc (if I remember it’s about 95% or less, I may be wrong) and a lot relies on the person fitting it and using it correctly which is quite fiddly compared to other methods. It’s definitely great for us though.

Curtainpoleofdoom · 17/11/2021 21:00

Wow. I just made an apt with the nurse for a cap fitting only to be called back to be told they didn’t offer this service. I thought someone had misunderstood my requirement but it seems not.

Won’t and can’t do pill or injections, never having either type of coil and condoms aren’t really viable due to allergies and the hate!

I will wait until I’ve had my GP apt to see what they say but may be after finding somewhere in London to get fitted.

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 21:01

I agree @Grainofsand. It's probably all to do with profits for someone. I didn't know you could no longer get sterilised on the NHS. What about vasectomies though? Do you have to pay for those?

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LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 21:03

I can understand if they advise more on other methods for that reason @Bagelsandbrie. But for it to not even be available when someone is aware of the risks and can make that choice for themselves is terrible.

It's one of the other hormone-free methods available and not everyone wants to have a coil.

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LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 21:04

Will be interested to hear what your GP says @Curtainpoleofdoom. Good luck!

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Sidge · 17/11/2021 21:04

I’m a CASH nurse. I haven’t seen a woman with a cap or diaphragm in 20 years, they’re just not popular so I guess it’s a vicious circle - fewer women want one, so we’re not trained to supply and fit them. Not cost effective and better to focus resources on more popular methods such as implants.

But then they’re not on offer as we can’t fit or supply them, so unavailable to women reducing their options further.

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 21:07

I'm so surprised they're not more popular @Sidge. It seems like a really great method to me. Non-hormonal and really gives control of fertility back to women. It's such a shame.

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Sidge · 17/11/2021 21:14

I agree, but most women want something now they can fit and forget, or with better reliability. They don’t want to be faffing around with diaphragms and spermicide pre-sex.

Women I see want better cycle control, along with contraception they don’t have to think about. I can count on 2 fingers the number of times I’ve been asked about a diaphragm! I did have a woman using her Mooncup with spermicide as a contraceptive. I told her it wasn’t something I’d recommend!

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 21:21

Sounds risky!!

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KenAddams · 17/11/2021 21:36


I agree *@Grainofsand*. It's probably all to do with profits for someone. I didn't know you could no longer get sterilised on the NHS. What about vasectomies though? Do you have to pay for those?

That's a lot of nonsense I was sterilised on the NHS nit even a year ago 😂😂😂
StillWeRise · 17/11/2021 21:37

it's appalling if this isn't offered anymore
i used one for years and it was very effective (100% effective Grin)
I used it because I didn't want to use artificial hormones, not that unreasonable really
the one thing I would say, if they are offering a 'one size fits all' is that , unbeknownst to me, I have a retroverted uterus, and this made the fitting very difficult- in fact the doctor fitted me with one that did NOT fit. I can't remember now if I needed one that was smaller or larger than expected, but the fit is important- for comfort and efficacy
I agree, it's a feminist issue.

LucyLocketsPocket · 17/11/2021 21:53

Glad it's not just me that thinks that @StillWeRise. Absolutely agree that not everyone wants to be pumped full of hormones for literally decades of their lives.

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Chasingsquirrels · 17/11/2021 22:08

My doctor fitted mine about 3 years ago.
The one she prescribed needed replacing every 6 months, but the expiry date on each replacement became shorter and shorter.
I was then told it was no longer available on the NHS but I could have it as a private prescription, then they did source me one (pharmacy at GP surgery) but couldn't get another.
GP retired a year ago and they have no one else at the surgery who can fit them.
Before she retired GP recommended I go to a secure health clinic.
I am actually still using the old one, checking it for leaks regularly.

Bagelsandbrie · 17/11/2021 22:29

I think younger women don’t even know it’s an option. My dd is 18 and didn’t even know such a thing existed!

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