OP: spermicides/diaphragm & NFP?

Is it possible to combine the use of spermicides with natural family planning? And is it possible to combine nfp with a diaphragm?

I was asked why I don't use a diaphragm during ovulation for contraception. Which would come with the needed spermicides. I know that spermicides nor diaphragms interfere with your cycle. I just expect that spermicide will give me trouble analyzing the cervical mucus. Also; the fact that a diaphragm needs to stay in place for several hours, does give me a feeling it would influence the observation at least the next day...

Since I'm not sure about the answer and seem unable to find it, I thought I just post the question here :)


Posted: 30 Sep 03:03


Not trying to get into a discussion of logic, by definition use of a diaphragm or just spermicide violates the intent of natural family planning. Use the diaphragm, you are no longer using NFP. That is not to be critical, simply to help you clarify your intent.

You know from other posts over the years that I am not an advocate of natural planning for young women in dating relationships. For someone more mature and in a stable relationship, the mucous examination can be helpful. Simply using the calendar is very restrictive and if the woman is among those who ovulate twice or more in many months, it simply does not work.

For a woman who wishes to use NFP "most" of the time, she would use her basal temperature and mucous indicator to determine when the diaphragm is to be used. This includes the effort to measure plot your menstrual cycle AND the effort to use the diaphragm. If your cycle gets confused by illness or diet or whatever, pregnancy is still possible.

Recognizing that you are avoiding hormones, compare the effectiveness of spermicides (jelly, film, foam, suppository) with the effectiveness of the diaphragm (which must be used with jelly). Of 100 sexually active women properly using the diaphragm for a year, it is likely that twelve to fifteen will become pregnant; vaginal spermicides alone, 15-17 become pregnant.

Certainly you can combine anything, other than hormones, with NFP. Why not use the diaphragm all the time and be a bit safer. Or consider an IUD.


Posted: 30 Sep 03:03

Thank you; your answer proofs my expectations to be wrong... If the day comes I see it for myself, I'll post :)

I'm not a purist, so I see no harm in mixing methods. Unless they're incompatible off course. I have taken hormones for 10 years, so it's not like I don't know... I see NFP more as something that's an addition to a lifestyle in which I self-monitor; observing my body and health. When my bf and I considered contraception and I found this method, it did mean expending and structuring my observations to a higher degree. Added value, as it were. More effort as well, but with a very nice pay-off of us having unprotected sex. If I perceive risk of results being inconclusive, it's simply no. He's aware of risks as much as I am.

Considering other methods of contraception; I am open to exploring. But I do make up a balance each time again. I do care for his happiness, but not at all costs. Especially not since he hasn't slept with me in 4,5 months, which really minimizes the winnings to below zero compared to my efforts. I do get why; he's so tired, poor thing... I'm truly concerned about him... But that's another story ;)


Posted: 30 Sep 03:03

Given that it has been several months since you two were last intimate, you better have something available! If he gets the urge during a fertile period, you will end up turning him down or with a mouthful. Also given this history, this is NOT the time to be risking pregnancy.

Time to examine your alternatives, Red.


Posted: 30 Sep 03:04

I did think about that. Since I've been a very very good girl being so patient, I'm actually hoping for a christmaspresent... ;)

So I have freshly bought condoms present at both his and my house. And a couple in my bag, which I take anywhere. All situations covered (unless there's a serious case of bad luck; getting robbed, miss the last train, stay in a hotel where the condom automate is empty and shops closed and he gets the urge... than it's unfortunately a no-go area down there).

Btw: Funny thing is that my last 3 cycles were extraordinary regular against my expectations. I know this won't help the issue of sex while ovulating, but it did restore my confidence that my body is able to function well :)


Posted: 30 Sep 03:04

questions on meassuring & insertion
I have other questions on the diaphragm and cervical cap;
it is said this needs to be inserted prior to arousal. Now I know how the vagina elongates with arousal. Is that the reason? Could you explain? Cause when you place it and the vagina changes through arousal, wouldn't that cause it to get displaced?

I have about the same question on the measurement. I know that femcap and cervical caps are easier to fit with standard sizes. But; does it matter on which state of the cycle you have it measured? Around ovulation my cervix is rather high, soft and hard to reach. But if I were to renounce NFP, as suggested in this thread, it would need to fit during the entire cycle except menstruation, as a diaphragm/cervical cap is intended to. Before and after ovulation my cervix is very easy to reach, feels sturdy and like "buldging" into my vagina (the little-tip-of-the-nose-feeling women sometimes call it). Does that make the same fit?

And this is going to sound stupid, but I don't know how to place it "before"... The moment you place it, you know you're going to have sex (or there's quite a chance). The moment I know I'm going to have sex that night, I'll be feeling arousal. And perhaps I'm weird for this; but I can continue to feel that way for hours and hours till evening :o Or are they talking near-to-orgasm-arousal?

Last question is on sex with the cap. I use beppy soft tampons that are placed just in front of the cervix and you are supposed to be able to have sex with them (cleaner sex on menstruation; no contraceptive!). We tried. But he clearly feels it; even irritates his skin. Though soft, the sponge is more rough than the vaginal walls. I also found that sex is less satisfactory (apparently I'm sensitive around my cervix), but it's not that unpleasant that I wouldn't want anything in front of my cervix. Thing is: could I take this as a hint that he will most likely also feel the cervical cap? And gets irritated skin?

Thanx for your insights! :)


Posted: 30 Sep 03:05

Many years ago I decided that if I was dispensing and recommending these things, I should try them all. I was properly fitted for a cervical cap and for a diaphragm, the FemCap was not available at that time, and found a few partners who would experiment with me. Volunteers were certainly easy to find! I also asked those same questions of the gyn who fit me and taught me how to do the fitting for other women.

The fitting of the cervical cap is based mainly on the diameter of the cervix and this does not change during arousal. Or anything else. The fitting of the diaphragm is from the pubic bone (the rim actually is placed "behind" the pubic bone) and the posterior of the cervix. I understand your question but in the 150 years of diaphragm use, elongation during arousal has not been a problem.

It does not matter whether it is placed an hour ahead or right before the penis. The nurse will help you place it and have you practice a few times and feel for proper placement of either the cap or the diaphragm. The diaphragm will not be noticed by the man because it feels very much like the vaginal walls. I have heard more objection by men to the feel of the vaginal jelly than to the diaphragm. Soft caps, the same. There have been "hard" caps made and these fell into disuse because a penis ramming into them could be noticed and could dislodge the cap. The diaphragm is easier to place before arousal than after elongation because your vagina at rest helps to place it. The elongation takes place quite far into the arousal so your daytime fantasies will generate juices but usually not the change of shape of the vagina.

Many women habitually place the diaphragm each night - brush teeth, insert diaphragm, climb into bed. Get up, brush teeth, remove diaphragm. The routine helps them remember and they do not have to get up to place the diaphragm if they discover an erection in bed. The device is left in place over night to keep the sperm swimming in the spermicide. If removed, the little devils may find a neutral path into the uterus.

If you check the data carefully you will find the use of the barrier, diaphragm or cap, improves contraception only slightly over the use of jelly alone. The spermicide does most of the work because sperm swimming around the edge and into the cervical os travel quite a way through spermicide. The barrier mainly prevents the discharge of semen in close proximity to the cervical os. Consider the worst case would be a perfect alighment between his urethral opening and your cervical os at the moment of ejaculation. This would result in a direct injection of semen into your uterus and the sperm would encounter no spermicide.


Posted: 30 Sep 03:05

Quote "Volunteers were certainly easy to find!" Unquote

Well done Brandye. A researcher to the bitter end! And as always, thanks for passing on your invaluable knowledge.

One wonders how one approaches, attracts, broaches the subject of sex for purposes other than an expression of love, feeling, respect or whatever. DH Lawrence in fact, whose novels have recently been on our local tv as films, seems to indicate in 'The Rainbow' and 'Women in Love' that the female species are just interested in sex as an animal instinct. And blokes are even worse. In the olden days, women grew up and got married. Their place was in the home, cooking, washing, ironing and having babies. Education? Nay Nay!

'The Rainbow' and other similar novels indicate the social, geographical and industrial changes which were taking place as were earth-moving shifts on the sexual front.
So, here we are on 'SEXinfo101'. Is it just SEX we are all interested in on here or is there more to it? Are women really just biological battering rams for us blokes to relieve ourselves in preference to masturbating?

I like to think that this is not the case.


Posted: 30 Sep 03:06

Thanx Brandye for your answers. Always a pleasure to read them!

As for your questions, Mau... I don't know the books you are referring to. The interest in sex as an animal instinct is probably right; sex runs in our bodies. It's what we're hardwired for. But I don't think it is for the sole purpose of it. There is various research that shows how probably our most vital trigger in sexual arousal in both men and women (testosterone) also increases hormones associated with bonding (oxytocine) and hormones associated with loving and a feeling of bliss (dopamine). Which makes it possible to love when we lust and to lust when we love. Love does not need to be the most romantic and monogamous form human cultures interpret it to be. The natural purpose of it may very well be the bonding of humans as societies; protecting and caring for eachother. And love does not only sooth the soul. There is evidence that oxytocine (the cuddle hormone) plays a vital part in healing ourselves. So bonding and loving keeps us healthy and happy :)

Personally; my feelings on sex would be just about that. The moment I started to enjoy the pleasures of sex, I've never felt more healthy in my life! (and I've struggled with health issues for most of it so far). And the connection I made to my lover is to be called spiritual. The first time ater this revelation I ever felt turned off by sex, was when he acknowledged that he feared the biological result as if he was staring death in the face. It called for so many contradictions; fertility became a nuisance instead of a gift, our beautiful bodies suddenly possessed a dark risk, sex became complicated, an undesirable desire, something heavy instead of light as a feather. People sometimes say you lose your innocence through sex. I didn't feel that way after losing my virginity. I'd say sex made me into a more pure woman. But I think the denial of it's biology made sex lose it's purity for me.

I realize how this is a funny thing to say in a thread in which I'm trying to find a way that would lighten the burden of sex :rolleyes: I guess that once discovered the pleasure, sex has become a craving I didn't lose. A craving that over time has become something he is so many times not willing to share. Considering how it became a reaffirmation of our love and contributed so much to my well-being, you may well see how disappointing this is. And how I am looking for ways to make things more easy for us... Yes, there have been times I wanted to put my sexual desires back in the box where it was once locked in ;)


Posted: 30 Sep 03:06

I've checked my books and asked my counselor; my initial thought appears to be right. You can't combine NFP with a cervical cap and spermicides, cause it could disturb the cervical mucus and/or make it impossible to observe for at least a day or 2. This is not much preferable. What you could do; use the cervical cap during one cycle, get back to NFP on the next cycle, since the disturbance isn't long term. Or it could be proper to use a cap in cycles that you find it hard to determine ovulation (when you had a fever in the first stage prior to ovulation, it can become impossible to calculate).[/QUOTE]

After considering it; we chose not to get a cervical cap. My man has great trust in how I apply the NFP-method and feels far more safe by only having sex in the periods that I calculate, than by the use of a cervical cap. The idea of a cervical cap actually doesn't make him feel comfortable at all. Since it doesn't contribute to our sexlife, I didn't get one.


Posted: 30 Sep 03:07

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