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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Safer Sex & Birth Control » Can't Find a Pharmacy to Fill my Diaphragm Prescription

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Author Topic: Can't Find a Pharmacy to Fill my Diaphragm Prescription
wyntermidnite
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Hi everyone. I just got a prescription for a diaphragm this week but their pharmacy couldn't fill it, which was an OB/GYN place. I've called around to all major pharmacies in my area and they say they don't have it and can't order it in. Some suggested I try a medical supply store, but I look online and it's for things like wheelchairs and diabetes test strips.

Diaphragm users: Where did you guys get your prescriptions filled? I'm at a loss. How do I actually obtain this darn thing?

Posts: 70 | From: Fullerton, CA, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hi wyntermidnite!

Back when I had one a few years ago, I got the prescription filled the Rite Aid down the street. (I'm on the East Coast of the US; I don't know how it'd be in California, unfortunately. I'm thinking it could be related to state guidelines on BC?) Could you call that original pharmacy associated with the OB/GYN and see where they recommend? If they can't help you, what about calling your local Planned Parenthood, women's center or public health center? Were you able to find spermicide at least?

My insurance didn't cover BC so I had to pay for it out-of-pocket. (It was under $50, fortunately.) Might that be affecting availability? Does your health insurance cover them? If so, I'd try even calling them and seeing where they recommend you look.

Edit: I see you're in Fullerton. Might you have a connection to the university there? If so, I bet the health center could really help you in finding a place that fills prescriptions for diaphragms.

Good luck! [Smile]

[ 09-25-2011, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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wyntermidnite
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Thanks! Unfortunately I've tried most of those bases. The school health center doesn't do diaphragm services, so I got fitted at a Planned Parenthood who pointedly told me I had to get it elsewhere because they didn't have it, I asked for advice on where to get it and they were unresponsive, diaphragms are apparently very rare, I had to wait 3 weeks to get an appt with the only doctor able to fit me, who only comes into the center once a week- and this was the main center for the area, not my normal local one. I called the local big name pharmacies and they couldn't help me, said they weren't even able to special order it for me.

I am covered under free state services but if I need to I can shell out $50 for this. I was wondering if I could possibly order it online to be shipped to me or something because all the things I've tried have come to a dead end.

On another note, how did/do you like using yours? I'm excited to have another method to add to the mix. Have you tried using it and condoms at the same time? I forgot to ask the doctor about it, but my partner really wants two methods, and my system doesn't do well on hormonal bc so we want to use these two. Now that I see where it fits on me I worry that the friction between the two synthetic substances might cause the diaphragm to dislodge or the condom to be stressed and break.

Posts: 70 | From: Fullerton, CA, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Hey there!

I just wrote a long response but it got erased before posting due to some computer issues I had. I have to head in for the night but I'll try to come back tomorrow to answer your questions if someone doesn't get to them first. [Smile]

It's good that you've been so diligent about contacting pharmacies; I'm sorry you keep running into hurdles! I'd try these three places: 1) a local, non-chain pharmacy that may be more likely to special order items for clients, 2) someone at state health services who handles reproductive health and client relations, and 3) a company that manufactures diaphragms.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals makes the most-used model in the US. The ORTHO® ALL-FLEX® Arcing Spring Diaphragm, to be exact; I'd recommend contacting their Patient Assistance. They want people using their products and using them happily so I bet they could help you find one! [Smile]

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Heather
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Another potentially helpful resource to know about is the Society for the Advancement of Cervical Barriers: http://www.cervicalbarriers.org/

You could also use their contact form if after calling private pharmacies, you're still out of luck.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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wyntermidnite
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Thanks ecofem, I tried the website patient assistance and it was for helping people get them for free if they have no insurance, which I do, but it was a good lead!

I'm trying to find the Mom and Pop pharmacies now and will be calling them today and see what results I get.

Thanks for the link Heather! If my plan today comes out fruitless I'll definitely try there!

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wyntermidnite
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Woo! 10 minutes of calling around smaller places got me one willing to order it in! I can get it in 2 days. Thanks you guys [Smile]
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Heather
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Awesome.

It's so amazing to me how much more difficult this gets every year, and the sad thing is, it's primarily about money. In other words, cervical barriers don't make anyone rich. [Frown]

But this is such a different picture than even 20 years ago. I mean, few pharmacies were going to have every size in stock, so needing to special order wasn't very uncommon, but having people say they wouldn't order at all? Ugh.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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wyntermidnite
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Yeah, it's a crazy world out there. It's so sad that profits are stopping some good methods from being promoted and used more. The pharmacies that wouldn't do it said it wasn't even in the system so couldn't be ordered. After the first two calls I started my conversations with "I'd like to get a prescription that may need to be ordered in..."
Posts: 70 | From: Fullerton, CA, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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So glad to hear you were able to order one locally and quickly, wyntermidnite! [Smile] I became a loyal customer at the pharmacy where I had ordered mine after the pharmacist not only got mine to me right away but also exchanged it immediately a few weeks later, no questions asked or money or paperwork necessary. (I had been concerned about what could have been a scratch from use or a manufacturing defect.)

When you pick yours up, I'd recommend talking to pharmacist on duty about the instructions, if you'd like and especially if the prescribing doctor wasn't thorough with instructions for use. Pharmacists are so knowledgable and usually glad to help! That site Heather linked above is also super informative and a great resource for any more specific questions that may arise.

As for your question regarding my experiences with the diaphragm, After a few months of use, I found it too much of a hassle and rather inconvenient for my circumstances at the time. However, I know that many women have been and continue to be very satisfied with their diaphragms; I think it all depends on what matches your needs and wants. I ultimately decided to get a Mirena IUD: after some initial dissatisfaction, I have been very happy with it and plan to get another in the future.

As for using condoms and the diaphragm together (along with the spermicide, as you know!), that's an extremely effective pairing of birth control, as you can see here. Of course, in order for it to be fully effective together, you'd still need to leave in the diaphragm for the x-number of hours listed. As long as there is "proper" lubrication and the condom and diaphragms are used correctly, I do not believe the combination of condom+diaphragm would cause any friction-related tearing. I'm not saying it *couldn't* happen but I can't remember ever reading a user at Scarleteen talking about that being an issue; Heather would know better if you'd like to know more for sure.

Happy "Diaphragming"! [Wink] After you've used yours for awhile, please consider sharing your experiences at the Scarleteen thread on Birth Control Experiences: Diaphragms/Cups.

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Atonement
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Just a side note from someone who works in a big chain pharmacy- You'd be suprised how little control we have over what we can and can't get. My pharmacy has trouble getting common, profitable drugs a lot of times, and I doubt we'd be able to get our hands on a diaphragm to save our lives.

Another thing that makes it difficult with big chain pharmacies is that most (if not all) of them are contracted to a specific supplier, so they aren't allowed try another supplier, even if theirs doesn't have what they need.

Posts: 444 | From: United States | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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