Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Using a Diaphragm vs. using an Instead Cup or SoftCup to Get Pregnant

What's better to use as a conception aid... a Diaphragm, or a Softcup (aka Instead Cup)?

(Please note that I sometimes use the term "Instead cup" because that was what it used to be called... it's now the SoftCup, but I may refer to it by either name).

I decided to take a side by side photo of my instead cup, next to my diaphragm (which I hadn't used in so long it literally had a layer of dust on it... I would put it back in it's case but can't find the darn thing).

I got a diaphragm back in 2008 for birth control purposes and used it a total of like, two times, when my now-husband was "just my boyfriend." I'd somehow managed to convince my favorite doctor, at the clinic I went to for birth control, to give me one. I'd always wanted to try it, and was at a point where I didn't want to go back on the pill.

Although I didn't really like it as a method of birth control (partly because I didn't want to use ANY birth control) I am really glad I didn't throw it out. Because I want to start using it again as a conception aid.

I've used both the instead cup and my diaphragm, to "keep the sperm in," and I have to say - I actually prefer my diaphragm over the instead cup, for a few reasons:

1) For me personally, it feels a little more comfortable. I think it's because the "ring" around the edge of the diaphragm is thinner, and a little more flexible than the softcup.

2) It's easier for me to pee with a diaphragm in, than a softcup. I don't know what it is about the softcup, but somehow it always manages to position itself over my bladder and then when I have to pee, I feel like it takes forever... and can't help wondering if some of the pee is going INTO the softcup! That can't be good for sperm.

3) A diaphragm is generally considered safe to re-use, whereas you're supposed to throw away an instead cup after one use. For the record, I do want to state that I have re-used instead cups, after washing them thoroughly - without a problem. But I don't think you're "supposed to" do that, so I'm not recommending it.

4) Because a diaphragm has "less room" to it, the sperm are closer to your cervix and therefore, can reach the egg faster than with a SoftCup. It's true that if you "roll up" an instead cup, you can give the sperm less space to travel (you can read my prior blog post about this, and view pictures of what I'm talking about, by clicking here: But when I do roll it up, I can't help wondering if it's "too tight" for my cervix?

I still would DEFINITELY recommend the SoftCup for women who are trying to conceive (if you don't already have a diaphragm), but I am just saying that a diaphragm is my preferred method... when I can actually find the darn thing. I got my diaphragm practically free, from a low-cost clinic, partially because I have the best "clinic doctor" ever (I actually kept seeing her, even after I got health insurance and could see a "regular" doctor). If you don't have a way to get ahold of a diaphragm for a low cost, I'd say keep using the SoftCups.

I just spent the last hour trying to find an article I'd seen online, about some female doctor who had a huge success rate, helping her clients get pregnant, using a diaphragm (instead of a SoftCup). I know I'd seen it within the last year, but didn't save it or bookmark it, and now I'm going nuts trying to find it again.  This is driving me crazy, as it seemed to just pop right up on the first page in a google search when I looked for an article on the topic several months ago, but now that I'm trying to find it so I can add it to this blog... it's nowhere to be found. And I'm usually really good about being able to find stuff on Google, quickly. I've tried dozens of different google searches, with AND without quotes, and still... no dice. I'm not kidding, I've been looking for an hour and a half.

There is another woman who did an online post, who seemed to be talking about the same Doctor / article. She said that the doctor said it would never catch on, because the fertility docs would never make any money using this method... her success rate was about 50 percent! (maybe the fertility doctors found a way to remove it!!!). Here is her post:

So I just want to tell you that I know people have used this method with a high success rate, because I did see that article (btw if you happen to find it, please email me at and I will add it to this post!!!). I think I just need to lay off the google searching for tonight, and hopefully the right combination of keywords will come to me in a day or two, and it will magically re-appear again.

Some articles I did find about using a diaphragm to get pregnant (though it's not the one I was looking for):

I'll keep looking for that other one, and will be sure to post it if I ever find it!!!


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