Caya, a new non-hormonal diaphragm contraceptive, is hitting the U.S. market for the first time since the 1960s. The diaphragm was introduced in Europe in the 1880s as the Dutch Cap and was one of the first modern methods of contraception ever introduced. What makes Caya different is that it is easier to use than older models; all that needs to be done is application of some spermicide jelly on the diaphragm before insertion. Caya was created through a 10-year collaboration between PATH, a Seattle-based global health organization, CONRAD, a reproductive health productive development organization, and USAID, a government entity dedicated to improving health and nutrition in developing countries. The benefits of Caya include that it can be used for multiple acts of intercourse over a 24-hour period, and that it is 94 percent effective when used correctly. Unfortunately, American women do not have much experience with the device. Only 3.1 percent of U.S. women report having ever used a diaphragm, according to the National Survey of Family Growth. As such, its introduction opens up an option for “a whole new generation of women who have not known that diaphragms are even an option,” according to Bob Patane, founder of the company marketing and producing Caya, HPSRx.
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