What Is the Sponge?
It’s a form of birth control that some women use. This small, doughnut-shaped device is coated with spermicide.
You don’t need a prescription for the sponge, which is made of polyurethane foam.
How Effective Is It?
Out of 100 women who use the sponge, 9-11 will get pregnant in a typical year.
How Does It Work?
First, the woman moistens the sponge with water. Then she places it into her vagina. It must stay there for at least 6 hours, and come out after no more than 30 hours. There’s a loop on the sponge to make it easier to take out.
The device protects against pregnancy in three ways:
- It releases a spermicide to kill sperm cells for 24 hours. You can have sex during that time without needing more spermicide.
- It’s designed to trap and absorb semen before the sperm have a chance to enter the cervix, which connects the vagina to the uterus.
- It acts as a barrier between the sperm and the cervix.
Where Can I Get the Sponge?
It's available at most pharmacies and clinics.