Advice about Diaphragms
Berkeley Parents Network >
Parenting, Families, & the Community >
Advice about Diaphragms
After doing some research, I am interested in purchasing a Milex
silicone diaphragm.. They have a website, but do not sell to
individuals, or through pharmacies - only through health-care
providers. I would like to know who sells them, as well as
whether HealthNet insurance would cover it (they DO cover
diaphragms through pharmacies on our plan). Any info or
Why not ask your HMO directly?
I recently tried to get fitted for a diaphragm and the process
was VERY painful for me. I had tons of pain and pressure in the
walls of my vagina and cervix. The pressure was felt in my
uterus even. Even with the correct, size, I was still in a great
deal of pain and discomfort. It was so bad, I decided not to get
it. The next day, I still felt some pain/pressure. The doctor
and nurse was baffled, but are diaphragms generally for women who
have already given birth (I have no children)? I personally
NEVER heard any women having this much pain with them. Is it more
common then I think?
I had exactly this experience -- but with a diaphragm I had been using
for several years (hadn't had any kids at that point). When I first
got involved with my husband, and began having sex much more
frequently than I had been, it started causing me serious trouble.
One time, after I used it, I was sore for two days, with really
unpleasant pressure, exactly as you describe. The doctor said it fit
just fine. I never did figure out what was wrong, so I put it in the
I used a diaphragm for many years before I had children. I had
several fittings, and while they might have been uncomfortable, I
would never say they hurt. Certainly having a diaphragm inserted
was more comfortable than the speculum. However, I can well
imagine if you did find it very painful, then whatever you
irritated would still hurt the next day. Regular use of a
diaphragm is more comfortable than the fittings. Still, if you
had alot of pain in the fitting, a diaphragm might not be for you.
Old Diaphragm User
Some women's (about 20%) uteruses are tipped backwards
(''retroverted'') and many things cause us pain that don't cause
pain to women with uteruses tipped in the standard direction.
I can't wear a diaphragm, and my mom used to get pain so
intense she would faint until she stopped using hers. Every
exam I used to get would be excruciatingly painful until my
wonderful midwife said, ''oh, you have a retroverted uterus and
the exam has to be done differently.'' Now I warn all my
doctors about my retroverted uterus and things are MUCH better.
Sounds awful! Diaphragms were my primary method of birth control, and
I had some pain that doctors attributed to a retroverted uterus as
well as scar tissue from abdominal surgeries. But it was just brief
pain with insertion and removal. I hope you find out the cause. Good
mom of two grown kids
I never had any pain from a diaphragm fitting, either before or
after having children.
I couldn't use a diaphragm successfully because of discomfort.
I wouldn't call it excruciating pain, but I was always achey
when using it. It was really the most uncomfortable when I
ovulated...which was kind of the point! I also cramp during pap
smears and feel the after effects of a thorough pelvic for a
few minutes--achiness as body resettles. I've been told I have
a tipped uterus. I switched to fertility awareness and condoms
after this, but you might find a cervical cap less irritating
since it is smaller. Just so you know despite
this 'sensitivity' I was able to do labor w/o pain meds. One
size just doesn't fit all!
I have found that it is very painful to wear my diaphragm when I
am at all gassy -- the pain goes away after I remove it, but
it's quite bad while it's going on.
Warning: This is about contraceptives, so don't read on if it
Yikes - my diaphragm needs replacing, but the model I've always
used, the KORO-FLEX, by Koromex, has been discontinued! It
seems the market leader (as in: only easily obtained option) is
the All-Flex by Ortho, but it really flexes all over the place,
and I doubt I'll be able to successfully use it (haven't
actually tried it lately). A web search found another
diaphragm that sounds almost like the Koro-flex, made by a
company called Milex. Like the Koro-flex, it has an arcing
spring (not coil) that must be squeezed together in only one
place (not all directions). It is different in that it has a
wider rim (claims to hold in the spermicide, and provide a
better grip), and is silicon rather than latex.
My o.b. doesnt have any ''test models'' of various styles to try
out at her office, so I'm looking for information to help me
make my best guess as to what else will work for me. At this
point, I'm not looking at non-diaphragm options, though I
suppose that may come next!
My questions -
-have any of you former Koro-flex users successfully switched
to one of the Ortho models? Or not?
-have any of you tried the Milex? If so - where did you obtain
it (none of the local pharmacies seem able to get it), and how
has it been?
Thanks for your feedback - we need to choose something!
As an OB/GYN nurse practitioner, I have fit many many women for
diaphragms (and have used one on and off for over 20 yrs), and
have worked with all the ''models'' you mention (different places
I've worked have had different fitting sets), and I can tell
you, it doesn't really matter. Yes, the rim is slightly
different, but the sizing is all standard, so unless you have
an allergy to latex and need the silicone instead, you won't
notice much difference. I find the arcing spring a bit
challenging, actually, because you have to find the groove to
squeeze it, whereas with the ''All-flex'' (or similar), you just
squeeze it anywhere. Anyway, get whichever is easiest to get,
and have fun trying it out :)
It's been six years since I used a diaphragm (why I didn't post
the first time), but I did use it for 15 years. I've had both an
orthoflex and a koroflex. I used the orthoflex first (flexes all
the way around), and though at first it did spring out of my
hands a couple times, I got used to it. Then I got a koroflex
(only bends in once place), which I found maybe a little easier,
but since I had already used the other, it didn't matter to me
much. I found the insertion process to be the only difference
between the two. Once in, and for retrieval, they seems to
function the same. (I only stopped using the diaphragm, because
my husband is not fertile.)
former diaphragm user
I love my Milex diaphragm. I can't remember when I got my
first one but it was many many years ago when I was having
problems with urinary tract infections and my health care
provider suggested the Milex, which I have used ever since
(for maybe 20 years now). I used to get them easily for
years, but then recently did have a difficult time finding one
after a long break TTC and then having the baby and the
resulting change in size of diaphragm. I was able to get the
prescription from an OBGYN doctor, but none of the
pharmacies carry it, so I had to order it from Milex directly.
p is the site, but I was given a paper order form from the
doctor I saw that I sent in the mail.
Anon for this one
this page was last updated: Apr 22, 2009
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network