the diaphragm is back—and it’s better than ever

Photo via YouTube

the return of a once-loved birth control method

When it comes to birth control, our generation tends to opt for the condom and the pill, and every now and then, you may hear someone talk about an intrauterine device (IUD). But some 50 years ago, the reigning birth-control method was the diaphragm, a silicone cup inserted into the vagina.

The diaphragm was available to women before the pill was, and there were women being fitted for one even before contraception was legal across the nation. Unlike the condom, the diaphragm gave women a sense of autonomy and agency over their sexual decisions, which was more than gratifying during a time when they did not have much power or influence. The cup was also favored because men typically don't feel or notice it (as opposed to the condom, which they can feel—supposedly), so women wouldn't even need to disclose that they were using it. Plus, it's non-hormonal.

So why did this popular method fall out of favor? Partly because of the HIV/AIDs crisis and the fear that it caused drove women to switch over to condoms, which have the capability of preventing the spread of STIs. And right around the time when diaphragm usage began to drop, other forms of birth control were introduced and given traction and gained popularity.  Soon after, manufacturers discontinued production, many pharmacies stopped stocking them, and many doctors became  unfamiliar with the process of fitting a diaphragm. 

Diaphragm usage may spike once again, thanks to the introduction of a new diaphragm, one with an improved design. Caya, which was approved by the FDA last year, is a single-size diaphragm, which will save women from the trouble of having to go get one fitted. The diaphragm is versatile in size and is "able to fit a range of women, thanks to a flexible nylon spring under the contoured rim." The finger dome makes it easy to remove, and it can be used for up to two years. At the moment, it's only available by prescription, but this method ensures that women get the proper instructions on how to use it for maximum effectiveness. Plus, without the individual fitting, the process should be much smoother and less awkward.

Caya is definitely a great and safe option for women who don't want to experience the hormonal effects of other methods like the pill or the IUD. Bringing back the diaphragm is really something we should be pretty thrilled about.

Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, and so much more

Every weekend, we bring you #SOUNDCHECK—your destination for the best of the best new music that hit the web over the course of the week. Because you should always be prepared when someone passes you that AUX cord. This week's round features 21 of our favorite emerging and established artists including Cardi B, Avril Lavigne, Tacocat, and so many more. Turn up, tune in, and tune out.

"Please Me" - Cardi B and Bruno Mars
"Please Me" will pair perfectly with all of the Valentine's Day candy you just bought on clearance. Trust me, there couldn't be a more perfect time to listen to this ultra-'90s R&B track.

Head Above Water - Avril Lavigne
I'm honestly jealous of whomever Avril is singing about on "Goddess."

Tacocat - Grains of Salt [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

"Grains of Salt" - Tacocat
When I realized Tacocat was back, I literally turned around at my desk and yelled. It's a miracle.

"Can I Talk" - Caleb Steph
Caleb Steph's debut single proves that he's ready for the spotlight.

Betty - Betty Who
"You better recognize/ That you're wasting all my time" from "The One" is my new favorite response to every "photographer" on Tinder.

"Butterfly" - Kehlani
The only thing more beautiful than this cover art is Kehlani's voice.

SASAMI - Free (feat. Devendra Banhart) (Official Video)

"Free" - SASAMI feat. Devendra Banhart
I would have never predicted a SASAMI and Devendra Banhart collaboration, but I am 100 percent not complaining.

Rex Orange County - New House

"New House" - Rex Orange County
Alex O'Connor never fails to impress me with his soulful bedroom pop, and "New House" is no exception.


"Cuz I Love You" - Lizzo
Distorted guitar paired with Lizzo's belting vocals? Chills, literally. She did that!

"Heads Gonna Roll" - Jenny Lewis
Like if Stevie Nicks' voice met Father John Misty's lyrics.

"Get Well" - Donna Missal
Donna Missal tells me everything I needed to hear about breakups on "Get Well."

"Patient" - Monica Martin
Sultry and sweet.

"Whorey Heart" - TeaMarr
TeaMarrr's bouncy new song is an excellent roast of the kind of fuckboi we all know and hate.

"Ice Me Out (Remix)" - Kash Doll
Kash Doll shows that she knows her way around a beat on "Ice Me Out."

"Lips of Lips" - Tiffany Young
Definitely catch me driving around with my windows down this summer blaring "Lips on Lips."