Effectiveness in Preventing Pregnancy
- Of 100 women using this method for one year, between 12 and 24 may get pregnant.
- Your risk of getting pregnant is much higher if you have had a baby, or if you do not use the sponge correctly each time you have sex.
- Insert the sponge into the vagina before having sex
- Leave it in place for at least six hours after sex.
- Remove the sponge using the loop string and throw it away within 24-30 hours of inserting it.
Office Visit Required
What is the sponge?
The sponge is a small, disk-shaped device made of soft foam that contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9 (N-9). It's sold in the U.S. under the brand name Today Sponge.
How do I use it?
- The sponge is placed inside the vagina prior to having sex and works by covering the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching an egg. The spermicide inside the sponge kills sperm.
- The sponge must be kept in place at least six hours after sex. It offers protection for up to 24 hours.
- You do not need to add more spermicide each time you have sex.
- The sponge must be removed after 24-30 hours to avoid toxic shock syndrome.(see Drawbacks section for more information)
- Throw the sponge away after removal.
Drawbacks of the sponge
- The sponge does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV.
- Some women may experience irritation or allergic reactions with the sponge.
- Spermicides containing N-9 can irritate the vagina and rectum. N-9 may increase the risk of getting the AIDS virus (HIV) from an infected partner.
- You need to remove the sponge 24-30 hours after insertion in order to avoid toxic shock syndrome (TSS).TSS is a rare but life-threatening infection.
- The sponge might be difficult for some women to remove.