According to the Guttmacher Institute, thirty-one million women want a contraceptive method that is appropriate for infrequent sex, and 25 million women want a method they can use while breastfeeding. The SILCS diaphragm is an easy-to-use, low-cost contraceptive method that can meet both needs.
As part of USAID’s Expanding Effective Contraceptive Options (EECO) project, PSI will use social marketing to promote the use of the SILCS diaphragm in select countries. Developed by PATH, the SILCS diaphragm is a unique non-hormonal and reusable barrier contraceptive. It is commercially available in more than 20 countries, including in the United States and throughout most of Europe.
A diaphragm is a small, shallow, cup-like product that is inserted into the vagina. It forms a barrier, covering the cervix, to prevent contact between the sperm and egg. A diaphragm is inserted with every act of intercourse and works best to prevent pregnancy when coupled with a spermicide. After intercourse, the diaphragm should remain in place for at least six hours — and no longer than 24 hours — before being removed. The diaphragm is inserted and removed by the woman herself, creating a convenient contraceptive option for women.
The SILCS diaphragm is one-size-fits-most, eliminating the need for a pelvic examination and provider fitting. It has dimples for easy gripping during insertion and has a fingertip dome that allows for easy removal. Each diaphragm can be used for up to two years before needing to be replaced.
Making a Difference
Over 220 million women have an unmet need for modern family planning and over 100 million women cite method-related reasons for non-use of modern contraceptives. USAID’s EECO project aims to fill this gap by providing new and improved contraceptive options and increasing method choice.
Under the project, we will apply a social marketing approach for the new SILCS diaphragm through our existing sexual and reproductive health networks. We also increase access to the SILCS diaphragm within the context of informed choice through training providers in service provision, product distribution and vouchers. Additionally, we create demand for the SILCS diaphragm through various communications channels including interpersonal communication sessions and mobile technology.