this product is so important and so wonderful. Where to begin, honestly?
The Caya diaphragm seems especially relevant because right now there is a wave of women realizing that the hormonal birth control they were using, in whatever from - implant, oral pills, depo-Provera, IUD - was making them ill. Because of the way that these hormones can affect the body, they can have any number of negative effects on women's mood, confidence, sex drive, weight or relationships. There has been a lot written recently in the media about this. For a long time, women have said that HBC impacts them negatively but their concerns were often not taken seriously by the medical establishment. In 2016, a European study confirmed that HBC positively correlates with being diagnosed and treated for depression, confirming what women had long said.
Once women had tapered off of HBC, they were left with a choice regarding what birth control method to try next. Many women, including myself, were left searching for a non-hormonal method. When it comes to BC there is a limited number of options. The most familiar ones are condoms or the pull-out method. Let's be really real here: condoms suck! They're uncomfortable and often diminish the sensations and pleasure of sex, no one wants to use them, and pulling out is hard to do perfectly each and every time.
For about 12 months I tried unsuccessfully to use the Fertility Awareness method which involves taking your temperature (I chose to do this vaginally as it led to more accurate temperatures) each morning and entering it into an app which allows you to closely monitor your fertile window. This method requires the diligence to take your temperature at precisely the same time each morning upon rising. Being a 27 year old woman, I found that I wasn't often able to do this, waking up at friends places, or hungover, or simply rushing to work and forgetting. I became frustrated with myself at my inability to stay consistent with it, and wound up looking for yet another option.
It was through using one of those fertility apps that I randomly stumbled upon people talking about the Caya diaphragm. Because of the different regulatory agencies in the US and Europe, Caya is only available in Europe, and must be ordered to the US off of Ebay. Desperate for another alternative, I took a shot, dropped $80 and ordered it direct from Germany.
I have to say, I love it! It's a charming pink color and made of a silky rubbery silicone. I immediately liked the look and feel of it right out of the box. It felt so much better than latex condoms and it smelled completely neutral. I personally despise the smell of condoms.
It's very easy to use: sometime before sex, take the clean diaphragm, squirt a little bit of the ContraGel along the grooves and insert it using your fingers by pushing it up until it stops and then tucking the front behind your pubic bone. This sounds tricky, but I was amazed by how quickly I was able to do it. I also cannot stress enough how comfortable it is to wear! I couldn't really tell it was there and my partner couldn't either. This is great because birth control is the last thing anyone wants to think about when having a romantic encounter.
Another advantage to this is that your male partner doesn't have to know you are using it. I would imagine that most women want to share with their partner the fact that they're using birth control, but if for some reason someone didn't want to tell their partner, or didn't want to say specifically which type of birth control she was using, or was embarrassed to insert it in front of a new partner, she could insert it privately and no one would even know she's wearing it.
I really like the ContraGel that is used with it, too. It says that ContraGel is a natural alternative to traditional spermicide. Traditional spermicide contains a microbicide such as Nontoxyl-9 which breaks down the cell walls of sperm in order to kill them. However, it also winds up breaking down and destroying the cell walls of the skin of the user. This results in sensitivity and itchiness to even increasing the risk of STD transmission, including HIV, due to skin abrasions caused by the spermicide. ContraGel contains no chemicals, only water, lactic acid (milk acid), sodium lactate (natural salt from fermentation), methyl cellulose (natural thickener or gel), and sorbic acid (natural preservative).
After having sex, the diaphragm must be worn for 6 hours before its removed. It comes with a white plastic case so that if you have to leave for the day, you can carry the case with you and remove the diaphragm discretly in the bathroom. To care for it, you rinse and wash lightly with some soap and water. It lasts for 2 years. I can honestly say that the Caya was the wisest, and most fun investment I have made in my health in some time. I hope that other women try it and get as much happiness from it as I have! Please don't hesitate to share your story.