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A diaphragm is a cervical barrier type of birth control. It is a soft latex or silicone dome with a spring molded into the rim. It is inserted through a woman's vagina into her cervix, where it blocks the man's semen. Before it is inserted, a spermicide is normally applied. After intercourse it needs to remain in place for at least two hours. A diaphragm does not protect against STIs. The idea of blocking the cervix to prevent pregnancy is thousands of years old. As an example,lemon halves have been used in the past.