Birth Control Guide - The Sponge

Birth Control Guide - The SpongeWhat is Sponge?

This is a soft piece of foam that contains spermicide (chemicals to kill sperm). It can only be used once (disposable). The sponge is put into the vagina. It covers the opening to the uterus, killing the sperm and stopping them before they can enter.

The sponge will not protect you from sexually transmitted infections. You and your partner should use a condom.

How well does the sponge work?

Out of 100 women using the sponge, between 10 and 40 will become pregnant. The sponge works much better if you use a condom at the same time.

How do I use the sponge?

The sponge is put deep into the vagina to cover the cervix. The spermicide in the sponge is released for up to 12 hours while the sponge is in place. The sponge must be left in for at least 6 hours after intercourse. It should not be left in for more than 12 hours. Each sponge can be used only once. You cannot use the sponge during your period.

You need to take the sponge out by yourself. To do this, you put a finger into one of the slots and pull gently while bearing down. Or you can use your index and middle fingers like tweezers to gently squeeze the sponge. Then you pull it out gently while bearing down.

Are there any side effects of the sponge?

Sometimes a man or woman is allergic to the spermicide or to the sponge itself. After childbirth, you must talk to a doctor or nurse practitioner before using the sponge. If you are breastfeeding, talk with a health care provider before using the sponge. Do not use the sponge if you have ever had toxic shock syndrome. Do not take a bath in a bathtub while the sponge is in place.

Will the sponge affect our sex life?

If the sponge is in the correct place, neither partner feels it.

How can I get the sponge?

You can buy it at the drug store.
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