Contraceptive sponges are age-old barrier birth control method
being used by women for centuries. It is doughnut-shaped small polyurethane foam
sponged come alongwith Nonoxynol-9 type of spermicide to kill the sperm. It does
not contain any hormone. The idea is simple to protect sperm entering into vagina
passing through uterus to fertilize the egg. Thus contraceptive sponge protects
How to use contraceptive sponge? First, you need to wash
the hands with the good anti-bacterial soap. It is very important so that sponge
should not get dirty. Remove the sponge with clean hand, add two tablespoon of
water, squeeze it once and insert it into vagina and cover the cervix as directed.
The correct position of inserting contraceptive sponge is where the dimple side
should face the cervix and loop side away from it.
It is to be inserted
into vagina before intercourse. Of course, contraceptive sponge should be impregnated
with (Nonoxynol-9) spermicide. Effectiveness of contraceptive sponge would depend
upon the position and spermicide Nonoxyno-9 used. It should be inserted as you
would use tampon. Do not use fingernails to push sponge into, it may tear it.
out About Sponges:
sponge will provide protection for upto 24 hours without use of additional spermicide
inspite of repeated intercourse, if used as directed. It should remain in place
for upto 6 hours after the intercourse. However, care must be taken that it should
not remain in vagina for more than 30 hours. Some women may be allergic to spermicide
and risk at TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). This occurs due to contraceptive sponge
or tampon left in place for more than prescribed time. TSS is uncommon but could
be serious for some women who are using contraceptive sponges daily. Contraceptive
sponges are not recommended to use during menstruation, after immediate child-birth
If it is inserted properly, your partner should not feel
it, however, if it is so, then please check the position of the contraceptive
sponge because it may not be inserted properly.
How to remove the contraceptive
sponge? Wash your hands with good anti-bacterial soap. Contraceptive sponges
come with loop made of woven polyester. Pull the sponge gently from the loop with
finger. Make sure that it is removed in one-piece. If it is torn then you need
to clean the pieces from vagina. Once pull out, throw away the sponge in the safe
way. Douching is not recommended while you use contraceptive sponges as it may
cause pelvic infection. If douching, however, is required anyway, you can do so
only after six hours of intercourse so that spermicide should not get washed away.
of contraceptive sponges: It's effectiveness is estimated to be 64-82% if used
as directed. It may also provide protection against STDs (chlamydia and gonorrhea)
to some extent due to spermicide used. However, spermicide could be harmful for
women who are allergic to it and opt for multiple intercourse in a day with the
same or multiple partners, and may be at the risk of HIV infection. Women using
contraceptive sponges may insist their male partners to use latex condoms for
better protection from birth control and STDs
Contraceptive sponges' side
effects: Some common side effects noticed by women are irritation, burning
sensation, redness, itching inside or around vagina. Such side effects could be
temporary but if problem persists, please consult your doctor or healthcare professional
immediately and seek advice on further continuation of the contraceptive sponge.
sponges are approved by FDA for OTC (over-the-counter) sale without prescription.
However, due to some economical reasons, contraceptive sponges were removed from
the market. The first company manufactured it, were taken over by another. However,
you can find them now in all the leading pharmacies between $1.00 to $3.00 each,
with 3-12 packages.
Stacey is an independent Licensed Mental Health Counselor and former Planned Parenthood
employee. She is also
associated with MyBirthControlStore.com and provides her excellent inputs on women
health realted issues, particularly on birth control.
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