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About the Birth Control Sponge

What is the birth control sponge?

Birth control sponge, or the contraceptive sponge, is a round piece of plastic foam with a loop for elimination. It’s available over the counter in drugstores. The sponge is filled with a spermicide known as nonoxynol-9. You insert the sponge deep in the vagina before intercourse to prevent pregnancy.

How does it work?

The sponge functions in 3 ways:

  • It blocks sperm from fertilizing an egg by covering the cervix.
  • It releases spermicide to kill sperm that approach the cervix.
  • It may trap and absorb semen.

How do I use it?

Using the sponge requires preparation and time .


  1. Wet the sponge with clean water and then squeeze it to trigger the spermicide. The sponge ought to be wet all the way through, but not leaking. It ought to be very sudsy when you squeeze it.
  2. Twist up the sponge and away in the loop, so that it’s long and narrow.
  3. Add the sponge as deeply into your vagina as you can.
  4. Publish the sponge. It cover and will unfold your cervix.
  5. Twist your finger around the edge of the sponge to ensure that your cervix is covered.

You are able to insert the birth control sponge before you have up to 24 hours or intercourse ahead. When using the sponge you can have sex several times. However, you shouldn’t keep the sponge for over 30 hours, and keep in mind following sex to remove the sponge, you must wait six hours.


  1. Wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Insert your fingers into your vagina and grab the loop.
  3. Gently pull out the sponge and throw it off. Don’t flush your sponge down the bathroom. Don’t reuse a sponge.

How effective is it?

The sponge’s effectiveness depends on whether or not you given birth and how well you use it. The failure rates are:

  • 9 percent for Girls who haven’t given birth and use the sponge Properly every time
  • 12% for Girls who haven’t given birth and don’t use the sponge Properly every time
  • 20 percent for women who have given birth and use the sponge correctly every time
  • 24 percent for women who have given birth and do Not use the sponge correctly every time

To enhance the effectiveness of the sponge, ask your spouse to pull out before ejaculating. He could also use a condom as security.

Pros and cons

The sponge is a convenient form of birth control for women, but it’s not a perfect method.


  • It’s available without a prescription.
  • You can purchase it from many drugstores.
  • It’s possible to add this up to a day before having intercourse.
  • You can utilize it as-needed, instead of monthly or daily.
  • It does not affect your hormone levels.


  • It is less effective if you have given birth.
  • It is dangerous to use throughout your period.
  • It does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — only condoms can do that.
  • The sponge or spermicide may irritate your veins, which may increase your risk of STIs.
  • Insertion and removal may be messy or difficult.

What are the risks?

The sponge can also be associated with a slightly greater probability of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This condition might lead to organ damage, shock, and fever. To reduce your risk of TSS in the sponge
You shouldn’t use the sponge if you’re allergic to sulfites (a compound found in some wine and food), the spermicide, or any of the sponge’s substances. Doing so may lead to an allergic reaction.
If the sponge breaks when you are trying to remove it and you can not get all the pieces out, you have to realize your physician. Leaving the portions might cause an infection.

  • Follow the package instructions for Removal and Pruning Attentively
  • never leave the sponge into over 30 hours
  • avoid using the sponge Completely during menstruation or if you have vaginal bleeding

Talk to your doctor

The birth control sponge may be perfect for you, or other forms of birth control might be more suitable. Selecting a method of birth control what’s appropriate according to your history and that’s best for you often comes down to finding the proper balance between your personal preferences. Speak to your doctor about all of your choices.
You should speak with your physician prior to taking advantage of the sponge if you have had a birth, miscarriage, or abortion or if you think you have a pelvic infection.

Updated: January 26, 2018 — 12:19 pm

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