Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 237 (3), 270

Is Effectiveness of Diaphragm Compromised by Postcoital Swimming or Bathing?

  • PMID: 12259737

Is Effectiveness of Diaphragm Compromised by Postcoital Swimming or Bathing?

G S Bernstein. JAMA.


PIP: Question: A patient who uses the diaphragm and jelly method of contraception was told that swimming or bathing within 6-8 hours following intercourse would interfere with the effectiveness of the diaphragm. I am aware of the usual precautions regarding removal of the diaphragm from the vagina following intercourse but have never heard of this interdiction. Answer: I am not aware that swimming or bathing following intercourse seriously interferes with the function of a diaphragm. Postcoital care of the diaphragm is directed toward preventing its removal or displacement while viable sperm are still in the vagina. 1 possible risk of bathing is that the vagina may become flooded with water at a time when the diaphragm does not fit snugly because the vagina is increased in size owing to the anatomical changes accompanying sexual excitement. I doubt whether this is a serious risk unless, perhaps, the patient were to immerse herself immediately after intercourse. Since sperm usually do not remain motile in the vagina longer than 2 hours the usual precaution of waiting 6-8 hours after coitus to remove the diaphragm is very conservative. However, it is probably wise to keep this margin of safety. When there are pressing reasons to remove the diaphragm early, I have instructed my patients to take it out after 2 hours provided they douche thoroughly before removing the device. Early removal may be necessary if the patient has discomfort or irritation from the diaphragm even though the device is the proper size.

Similar articles

  • Nonspermicide Fit-Free Diaphragm Trial Reported
    Netw Res Triangle Park N C 5 (3), 7. PMID 12279800.
    The standard technique of diaphragm fitting and the use of spermicide with diaphragms have been challenged by Edward Stim, a physician who developed and tested a nonsperm …
  • Diaphragm Users Should Follow 13 Tips for Best Effectiveness
    M Reese et al. Contracept Technol Update 5 (11), 144-5. PMID 12313252.
    The following 13 tips should be presented by family planning practitioners to diaphragm users: 1) the client must be able to feel her cervix; 2) the diaphragm should be c …
  • Counseling the Diaphragm User
    Health Educ Bull 18, 1-3. PMID 12278459.
    Studies of the use-effectiveness of the diaphragm have placed it at about 97.8% and 97.6%. User motivation is the most important factor in effectiveness. Clinic policies …
  • Diaphragm Fitting
    RE Allen. Am Fam Physician 69 (1), 97-100. PMID 14727824. - Review
    When used with a spermicide, the diaphragm can be a more effective barrier contraceptive than the male condom. The diaphragm allows female-controlled contraception. It al …
  • The Diaphragm: Barrier Contraception Has a New Social Role
    PI Tagg. Nurse Pract 20 (12), 36, 39-42. PMID 8610032. - Review
    Using a diaphragm as a barrier contraceptive has received little attention in recent literature. A discussion of the role of the diaphragm to prevent pregnancy, as well a …
See all similar articles

Cited by 1 PubMed Central articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources