What is a Caya diaphragm?
The Caya diaphragm is a contraceptive device that protects you against becoming pregnant by accident. It doesn’t protect against sexual transmitted diseases, though. The Caya diaphragm is made out of nylon and silicone, two skin-friendly materials that won’t cause any rashes and the like. There’s no latex used in the product. The diaphragm is placed inside the vagina before sexual intercourse together with spermicide gel. This gel includes a substance, usually nonoxynol-9, which kills male sperm cells.
Like conventional diaphragms, the Caya device is a barrier form of contraception. It blocks the uterine opening, thereby preventing sperm from advancing toward the yet unfertilized egg. Not only does the diaphragm block the sperm cells, but the spermicidal gel will neutralize the latter.
The Caya diaphragm is sold in one size that fits most women, in contrast to older diaphragms that would always necessitate a doctor’s visit to determine the right size. The Caya diaphragm is comparable in size to conventional diaphragms ranging from 60mm to 85mm, i.e., it will fit most women well.
Sometimes the Caya diaphragm may be covered by a woman’s healthcare plan. Check with your insurance provider if this applies to you.
How to get started with a Caya diaphragm?
It may initially take a few practice rounds, but it’s a fairly straight-forward process. The Caya diaphragm will need to be inserted into your vagina at least one hour prior to sex and with great care toward fitting it correctly. Using a lubricant (water-based and sold together with the diaphragm) will make this easier. Below is a brief summary of how you insert the diaphragm.
- Place spermicidal gel inside the diaphragm’s dome and distribute it evenly around the rim.
- Fold the diaphragm and, the dome facing downward, insert the diaphragm into your vagina as far as possible. Use one finger to push the diaphragm’s frontal rim up firmly behind the pubis (your pubic bone).
- You can verify that the diaphragm is in the right place by feeling the cervix through the dome wall with your finger.
The diaphragm needs to remain in your vagina for at least six hours after you’ve finished sexual intercourse. So, make sure it fits not only correctly but also comfortably. Don't leave it inside the vagina for much longer than six hours either, and definitely for less than 24 hours. This is because leaving the diaphragm inside the vagina for longer than a day carries serious risk of bacterial infections. If you have repeated intercourse, apply new spermicidal gel every time.
When you take out the diaphragm, clean with a mild detergent and dry it properly. Storing the diaphragm in a clean, dry and closed condition (inside its box) is important, as this minimize the risk of contamination with bacteria that could give you urinary tract infections.
In the event that the Caya diaphragm accidentally falls out during sex or before the six-hour waiting period is over, there’s the risk that you become pregnant, especially if your partner ejaculated sperm. Seek immediate advice from your doctor as to whether you qualify for emergency contraception. That will depend on legal matters and your health condition.
How effective is the Caya diaphragm?
Several trials and surveys have confirmed the contraceptive effectiveness of the Caya diaphragm as a means of birth control. Which is also why it’s approved by the FDA as contraceptive device. However, while this means that these diaphragms generally are safe, it doesn’t mean they are 100% fail safe. In fact, no form of contraception is 100% safe. How small or high the probability is that you’ll get pregnant despite having used a Caya diaphragm correctly, is something we don’t know for sure because there’s no data on this question.
That said, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its review of birth control choices has noted that diaphragms in general have a failure rate of 17%. So, out 100 individual uses, you could get pregnant during 17 of them — of course only if you happen to be within the part of your monthly cycle where you can get pregnant. For reference: the CDC cites a failure rate of 13% for traditional male-use condoms, which is only marginally better than the birth control performance of diaphragms. Keep in mind that the 17% failure rate applies to all diaphragm in general and thus doesn’t represent the Caya diaphragm specifically.
One more serious drawback of the Caya diaphragm is that it doesn’t protect you from sexual transmitted diseases.
Mauck, Christine K, et al. “A Phase I Randomized Postcoital Testing and Safety Study of the Caya Diaphragm Used with 3% Nonoxynol-9 Gel, ContraGel or No Gel.” Contraception, vol. 96, no. 2, 2017, pp. 124–130, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28606382, 10.1016/j.contraception.2017.05.016. Accessed 30 Jan. 2020.
Cook, L. “The Diaphragm with and without Spermicide for Contraception: A Cochrane Review.” Human Reproduction, vol. 17, no. 4, 1 Apr. 2002, pp. 867–869, academic.oup.com/humrep/article/17/4/867/644603, 10.1093/humrep/17.4.867. Accessed 30 Jan. 2020.
Aiken, Abigail RA, et al. “Similarities and Differences in Contraceptive Use Reported by Women and Men in the National Survey of Family Growth.” Contraception, vol. 95, no. 4, Apr. 2017, pp. 419–423, 10.1016/j.contraception.2016.10.008. Accessed 30 Jan 2020.