A diaphragm covers the cervix and thus prevents sperm from going up into the womb. A diaphragm is always used in co-ordination with a spermicidal cream. It has to be put in place shortly before intercourse and can stay in the vagina for up to 2 days.
It is important to use the correct size. The doctor fits the correct size with the help of the variously sized fitting rings shown here. These serve only to determine the correct size and not as contraceptive. There are both new examples of these rings, which are in use as they ever were, and historic ones.
The base and cover are made of white plastic; the name ORTHO is on the lid in gold, together with a gold crest, and on the base in embossed font. After removing the lid, 5 beige diaphragms can be seen, in increasing size, each with a concentric hole. The base has corresponding recesses that are labelled 85, 80, 75, 70 and 65. On the underside of the base can be found a warning message and an unopened leaflet.