Diaphragm and lubricant gel acceptance, skills, and patterns of use among women in an effectiveness trial in Southern Africa
Montgomery ET, Blanchard K, Cheng H, Chipato T, Bruyn G, Ramjee G, Padian N, van der Straten A. Diaphragm and lubricant gel acceptance, skills, and patterns of use among women in an effectiveness trial in Southern Africa. The European Journal of Contraception & Reproductive Health Care. December 2009; 14(6):410-419.
OBJECTIVES: We examined diaphragm and gel-related skills, patterns of use, and problems, among women who participated in the MIRA study, a multisite phase III diaphragm trial in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
METHODS: We evaluated whether baseline characteristics were associated with the ability to correctly insert/remove the diaphragm prior to randomisation by means of multivariate logistic regression modeling. Employing face-to-face interviews with intervention arm participants, patterns of use and comfort using the products were measured at Month 3 and Exit, and reported problems with the products were assessed quarterly.
RESULTS: At baseline, 72.5% of women correctly inserted/removed the diaphragm within one attempt, and this skill was most strongly associated with the Johannesburg study site. At exit, over 90% of intervention women were very comfortable inserting, wearing, cleaning and removing the diaphragm; however, 31.8% reported usual removal of the diaphragm before the prescribed six hours after sex. During the 12-24 month follow-up period there were only 133 (<1%) reported problems with the diaphragm and gel over 14,544 follow-up visits.
CONCLUSIONS: Diaphragm skills were easily acquired and few problems were reported during the course of the trial. Reviving the diaphragm as a contraceptive option or as a reusable microbicide delivery mechanism seems feasible in these settings.