What is a Diaphragm?

What is a Diaphragm?

When most people hear the word “diaphragm,” they might think about that muscle located beneath the lungs that engages when we breathe or laugh. However, a contraceptive or female diaphragm, like our Caya® contoured diaphragm, is a birth control option that is hormone-free, woman-controlled, and affordable.

How long has the diaphragm been around? And how do you use it to prevent pregnancy, you ask? Grab a coffee, and let’s talk about this aspect of reproductive health.

What is a diaphragm?

What is a contraceptive Diaphragm? 

The Caya diaphragm is a shallow oval cup, shaped like a saucer. It’s inserted into the vagina before sex, and positioned over your cervix to create a barrier so sperm can’t reach the eggs in your womb (uterus).

How a diaphragm works

You control when you use a diaphragm and when you don’t. A diaphragm does not stay in your body all the time, unlike birth control pills or the IUD. You insert it before you decide to have sex. It’s reusable and portable–it’s small and kept in a clamshell container so it easily fits in a purse or backpack.

For women with medical conditions, undergoing cancer treatments, or for mothers who are breastfeeding, the diaphragm is especially great as it’s a hormone-free birth control.

Is the diaphragm new?

The concept of a cervical cap or diaphragm has been around a long, long time… all the way back to the ancient Egyptians who used hollowed-out lemon peels as a barrier. (It’s one of many historical and cringe-worthy birth control options no one should use.) 

The first medical contraceptive diaphragms didn’t become widely used until the 1940s. The original design prioritized ease of manufacturing over women’s anatomy. They were round, came in multiple sizes, and a stiff spring making them challenging to use and uncomfortable to wear. 

Women and providers wanted a diaphragm that would be easier to use and didn’t require a fitting exam. Ultimately, those first versions stopped being promoted, and the classic diaphragm was slowly replaced by more modern methods such as oral contraceptive pills, IUDs, and injectable contraceptives. 

In recent years, more women are looking for birth control options that are hormone-free, affordable birth, and easy to use. Once again, they are turning to diaphragms.

The new and improved Caya Diaphragm, now available here in the US, was inspired and shaped by women and couples around the world (you can read the history of the development here on our site).

The design is contoured to the female anatomy, it’s easy to use, comfortable, and durable; it lasts up to two years. Better still, because it’s sized to fit most women, it no longer requires a fitting before you can get Caya.

How do you use a diaphragm?

Just how easy is it to insert Caya? For most women (about 80%), they found Caya’s diaphragm easy to use just by following the directions on the package. Your provider can also show you how to insert it correctly if you have difficulty.

It’s up to you to determine when it’s best to insert Caya before sex. You can put it in before you go on your date or just before sex, and even before going swimming.

Caya is most effective at preventing pregnancy when you add a spermicide to the diaphragm before you insert it, which also provides lubrication for ease of insertion and comfort.

After sex, it is important to leave the Caya diaphragm in for at least six hours to reduce the risk of becoming pregnant.

We have detailed instructions on our website under How to Use Caya, but essentially:

1. You’ll apply a water-based contraceptive gel to the diaphragm.

2. Insert Caya before having sex, making sure it covers the cervix.

3. Leave Caya in place for 6 hours after having sex.

4. Wash with water and soap before storing, and reuse for up to 2 years.

How do you get a Caya?

In the United States, you need a prescription and there are two ways to get the Caya diaphragm prescription.

A Local Healthcare Provider

Your local healthcare provider can prescribe Caya. Physicians, nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives can write prescriptions for you. Learn how to get Caya from your provider here.

A Telehealth Provider

The easiest and most convenient way to get Caya is via a telehealth provider. You’ll Meet with a provider online from the convenience of your home and receive a prescription for the Caya diaphragm. Learn more about Caya telehealth prescriptions here.

The easiest and most convenient way to get Caya is via a telehealth provider:

  1. You’ll meet with a provider online from the convenience of your home
  2. Receive a prescription for the Caya diaphragm.
  3. Have your Caya delivered directly to your door through Mail Order Pharmacies
  4. Or you can have it filled at your local pharmacy

Learn more about Caya telehealth prescriptions here. A list of mail-order pharmacies that offer Caya can be found here

Want more information about Caya diaphragm birth control?

At Caya, we’re here to answer questions you might have. Check out our FAQ on our website. If you still have questions, contact us via phone or chat with a customer service representative, or sign up for our newsletter. We’re reshaping your options for contraception.