If you’ve had the chance to join in on one of Vino with Gyno events, then you likely already know the wonderous glory that is Doctor Dorothee Struck.
And, if you’ve had the blessing to watch on as Dr. Struck passionately lights up a stage with her frank and lighthearted discussions on all things menstruation, vulvas, and birth control- you’ve likely heard her discuss the oft-forgotten diaphragm. But the diaphragm is making a comeback– not to be confused with a cum back, which is a highly inadvisable method for birth control.
The diaphragm is a non-hormonal, reusable contraception device that allows the user to have full autonomy on pregnancy prevention. It works in tandem with spermicidal lube and is placed internally into the vagina and over the cervix to prevent any crafty sperms from maneuvering their way up to the soft-cushy oasis that is the ovary.
When used correctly- the diaphragm can be 99% effective.
However, the effectiveness of a diaphragm is largely user-dependent. This means that it requires a proper fitting and training on how to use it correctly. There’s been in an increased desire for an alternative to hormonal birth control- and the diaphragm is a great option, however, up until recently there had been a lack of multi-size options.
Here's where the good news comes in...
EU authorities have recently approved a new multi-sized diaphragm. These diaphragms are already available for pre-order through a pharmacy but because everybody and every body is different, they require an individual fitting.
If you are new to the world of diaphragms, Dr. Struck is offering an online course which can help guide you through the process. It will also have info on where you can find reputable non-gynecological fitters all across Germany, which are typically feminist female health centers.
You can find more info about her course and how to sign up here: On this link. Full disclosure this course does have a fee.
So, is the diaphragm right for me?
At this point, you may be asking yourself, is the diaphragm worth the work? Well, that really depends on you. If you presently love your birth control method then no need to read on, but for those looking for something different, consider the following:
It’s a great alternative for those looking to opt for non-hormonal birth control. For anyone who has used hormonal birth control, you are likely already aware that this comes with a slew of side effects. From weight fluctuation, moodiness, or even positive effects like clearer skin or cramp reduction.
It’s important to remember that the pill is a medication, and everyone reacts differently to different medications. While some of these effects can seem trivial, there is a rise in awareness of more sinister effects of hormonal birth control. In a study conducted using health data from over 1,000,000 Danish women, researchers found that hormonal birth control usage is linked to higher cases of depression.
In Germany, depression already disproportionately affects women. Around 5.3 million people between the ages of 18-79 are diagnosed with depression— and women are affected 3x times more than men.
Does this mean that if I am a German woman taking birth control I am highly susceptible to depression– in short, not necessarily. Some people are more susceptible than others, the problem is science can’t accurately tell who is who beforehand. Again, hormonal birth control affects everyone differently, so you should do you due diligence to check in with yourself to see if you notice any changes and bring up anything of note to your doctor.
Beyond the health aspects, for those sustainably or fiscally minded- the diaphragm is a reusable product. Meaning less waste and no need for a continual purchase, other than on spermicidal lube.
Of course, everyone is different and you should consider for yourself what birth control best suits your lifestyle and needs. If you have questions, we’re always happy to point you in the right direction and can strongly advise to speak directly with your gynecologist.