When to See a Health Care Provider

Adapted from “New Dimensions in Women’s Health” by Linda Lewis Alexander & Judith H. LaRosa

It is necessary to see a clinician for prescription of the diaphragm, cap, pill, or IUD. Other forms of birth control do not require a clinician’s prescription, but conditions associated with these forms may warrant a clinic visit. In general, a clinician should be consulted any time that there is pain during intercourse or any unusual bleeding, spotting, discharge, or odor. Any burning or itching associated with spermicide use may be an indication of an allergy to the agent. A clinician should be consulted in the event of toxic shock syndrome symptoms. With a diaphragm, it is wise to check with a clinician any time that the diaphragm does not seem to be fitting properly or there is discomfort, pain, or recurring bladder infections. After having a baby, it may be necessary to be refitted for a different sized diaphragm because vaginal depth and muscle tone are usually altered by full-term pregnancy.