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Diaphragms come in different sizes, so your doctor will fit you for one and give you a prescription.

Where can I buy a diaphragm?

You can buy a diaphragm at a pharmacy, drugstore, or health center after you get a prescription from your nurse or doctor. Diaphragms aren't one size fits all — they come in different sizes. Your nurse or doctor will fit you for your diaphragm and show you how to insert and remove it.

You must use spermicide with your diaphragm in order for it to work. Unlike your diaphragm, you don’t need a prescription for spermicide. You can buy spermicidal gels and creams over-the-counter at drugstores.

Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to diaphragms! They’re made to fit you and only you. Don’t use someone else’s diaphragm, and don’t let anyone use yours.

How much do diaphragms cost?

Getting a diaphragm can cost anywhere from $0 to about $250 — that includes the cost of an exam and fitting, plus the cost of your diaphragm. Spermicide can cost around $5-15 a kit.

There's a good chance you can get a diaphragm for free (or a reduced price) if you have health insurance. Most insurance plans are required by law to cover most types of birth control, including diaphragms.

If you don't have health insurance, you've still got options. Depending on your income and legal status in the U.S., you may qualify for Medicaid or other state programs that can help you afford birth control and other health care services.

Planned Parenthood works to get you the services you need, whether or not you have health insurance. Most Planned Parenthood health centers accept Medicaid and insurance, and many charge less depending on your income. Contact your local Planned Parenthood health center for more information.

More questions from patients:

How long does a diaphragm last?

Diaphragms last for up to 2 years. 

Take care of your diaphragm by: 

  • Washing it with mild soap and warm water after taking it out. Let it air dry and store it in a clean place, away from extreme heat and direct sunlight.

  • Check the fit of your diaphragm after a year, if you gain or lose a lot of weight, or after you’ve been pregnant (whether or not you gave birth). You may need to speak to your nurse or doctor about getting a different size.

  • Take a look at your diaphragm from time to time to make sure it’s in good shape. Hold it up to the light and check it for holes, cracks, wrinkles, or weak spots. You can fill the cup of your diaphragm with water to test for leaks. If you spot something that looks off, talk to your nurse or doctor about getting a new one. In the meantime, use another type of birth control, like condoms, or wait to have sex.

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  • 83% effective

  • Costs up to $75, but can be $0

  • Prescription required

  • Put it in before sex

A diaphragm won’t protect you from STDs. Use a condom with your diaphragm to help stop pregnancy and STDs.
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