What you should know about using a diaphragm

Here's what the experts say about diaphragms as a form of birth control

What it is: A latex cap that covers the cervix, blocking sperm.
How it works: Filled with spermicide and inserted into the vagina before sex.
Effectiveness: Between 84 and 94%.
Convenience: Can be inserted several hours before sex.
Best for: Women who don’t want hormones, yet want a barrier method they control.
Side effects: Increased risk of urinary tract infections.
Price tag: Diaphragms need to be fitted by a health care professional and require a prescription. The average cost is about $40.
Good to know: The diaphragm should be used with a gel spermicide.

Our experts:
Dara Maker, family physician at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto
Roey Malleson, clinical associate professor of family practice at University of British Columbia
Ronald Weiss, assistant professor of medicine at University of Ottawa

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