Island Sexual Health Society Be informed, not surprised!

Contraceptive sponge

2009 September 03

The contraceptive sponge is also known as:

* The Sponge
* Birth control sponge
* Protectaid sponge, Today sponge, other brand names

The sponge is a small, disc-shaped device containing spermicide that is inserted in the vagina at the entrance of the cervix to prevent pregnancy. The sponge traps the sperm and the spermicide destroys the sperm.

You can buy contraceptive sponges at some drugstores although they are not as available as they used to be.

h3. How to use the sponge

The sponge needs to be inserted before intercourse and provides 12 hours of protection, regardless of how many times you have intercourse.

Sponges are only about 70-80% effective with typical use, but this can be improved significantly by using condoms at the same time.

* See detailed “sponge instructions”:http://www.g-h-o.co.uk/sponge.htm and information from the Global Health Options website.

h3. Condoms are recommended for infection protection

As a barrier, the sponge may offer some protection from “sexually transmitted infections”:/infections/. However, frequent use of “Nonoxynol-9 spermicide can increase your risk”:/birthcontrol/spermicide/#n9-risks of infection. Adding a condom is highly recommended to improve your protection.