Table Of Contents
- What is a Birth Control Sponge?
- How does it Prevent Pregnancy?
- What Are the Benefits?
- What Are the Disadvantages?
- How Effective are they?
- How Safe are they?
- How Do I Use Birth Control Sponges?
- Tips for Using Birth Control Sponges
What is a Birth Control Sponge?
The sponge (popularly branded as the Today Sponge) is a squishy porous foam object which is inserted into the vagina before intercourse. It contains spermicide to immobilize sperm as it comes in contact with the sponge.
The sponge is typically around 2 inches in diameter and features a nylon loop which is used to easily remove it from the vagina after intercourse.
The sponge tends to cost less than $5 each and normally comes in packs of 3.
How do Birth Control Sponges Prevent Pregnancy?
They prevent pregnancy by blocking the sperm from reaching the cervix. By inserting the sponge deep into the vagina before intercourse, resulting sperm entering the vagina will be blocked by the sponge. Meanwhile, the sponge will release spermicide throughout intercourse, thereby immobilizing the sperm.
What Are the Benefits?
The benefits are as follows:
- Easy to use
- No effect on hormones
- No prescription required
- Good for continuous sex as it can be used and re-used for up to a 24 hour period
What Are the Disadvantages?
The sponge does not protect from sexually transmitted diseases or infections as other methods of birth control like condoms do.
The sponge may be difficult for some women to insert and remove correctly. If the sponge comes apart while inserted in the vagina making it difficult to remove, the user should immediately seek medical help to have the sponge removed. If the sponge is left in the vagina for over 30 hours, the risk for toxic shock syndrome is increased.
The sponge also may change the moisture conditions of intercourse, with experiences being dryer or wetter than normal.
Some users have also complained of vaginal irritation after using the sponge.
How Effective is the Birth Control Sponge?
The efficacy of the birth control sponge can shift significantly based on whether or not the user has given birth.
Among women who have never given birth and always use a sponge correctly, 9 out of 100 will become pregnant through the course of a year.
Among women who have never given birth and may not always use a sponge correctly, 12 out of 100 will become pregnant through the course of a year.
Among women who have given birth and always use the sponge correctly, 20 out of 100 will become pregnant through the course of a year.
Among women who have given birth and do not always use the sponge correctly, 24 out of 100 will become pregnant through the course of a year.
How Safe are they?
For some, the sponge can cause medical complications. It should not be used by people with allergies to sulfa drugs, polyurethane, or spermicide. The sponge can also pose a small risk of toxic shock syndrome, which may occur of the user has recently given birth, had an abortion, is currently suffering from any vaginal bleeding or reproductive tract infections, has a history of toxic shock syndrome or uses the sponge for over 30 hours.
The spermicide in the birth control sponge can cause irritation which may increase risk of HIV transmission for those already at risk of HIV.
How to Use
- Wash hands thoroughly before handing the sponge.
- Wet the sponge with a bit of water before insertion
- Squeeze the sponge to let the water soak in, activating the spermicide.
- Fold the sides of the sponge with the nylon loop facing downward.
- Insert the sponge as far as you can into the vagina.
- Ensure that the sponge is resting firmly against the cervix by sliding your finger around the edge.
For more information on how to use with illustrations click here.
Tips for Using Birth Control sponges
Users of sponges may want to have a water based lubricant on hand if the sponge makes the sexual experience dry or uncomfortable.
The sponge can be purchased over the counter at your local drug pharmacy or drug store.
Where To Purchase Today Sponge
If you are looking to get the Today Sponge at the best possible price and get it quickly shipped directly to your do you should check out this product on Amazon.