Vaginal Sponge

What is it?

The vaginal sponge is made up of plastic foam and has spermicide in it. It is soft, round, and about two inches wide. It has a string made up of nylon attached to the bottom so that it’s easy to take out. It is put deep inside the vagina before having sex.

How does it work?

The sponge stops pregnancy from happening by keeping sperm from joining with an egg. It does this by covering the cervix which keeps the sperm from going inside the uterus. It also constantly releases spermicide that keeps the sperm from moving.

How well does it work?

Like all birth control, the sponge works best when it is used the right way. And women who have never had a baby tend to have the most success with it.

  • If women who have never given birth always use the sponge the right way, 9 out of 100 will get pregnant each year.

What are the benefits?

  • You can carry it in your pocket or purse
  • Usually it cannot be felt by you or your partner during sex
  • It does not affect a woman’s natural hormones
  • If used the right way, it is very effective
  • You can put it in hours before you have sex, so you do not need to worry about forgetting to put it in if you think you might be having sex later. It can also be worn for up to 30 hours after you put it in. You can have sex as many times as you want during the first 24 hours without taking the sponge out.

What is the downside?

  • Sometimes women find it hard to put it in or take it out. If you have problems taking it out or it breaks into smaller pieces, see your health care provider right away to have it taken out.
  • The sponge might cause some women irritation in their vagina
  • Some women do not like it because the sponge can either make sex too messy or too dry

How can I get it?

The sponge is available at clinics, drugstores, online, and in some supermarkets.

How much does it cost?

The vaginal sponge can cost between $0 and $15. You can get them at family planning clinics, drugstores, online, and in some supermarkets.