SPONGE

Barrier Method

A sponge blocks the entrance to the cervix and releases spermicide, both together stop sperm from entering the womb and fertilizing an egg.

REGIMEN

30H
MAX

BENEFITS

Low cost

Hormone free

 

    SOAK UP THE SPERM

    The Sponge is essentially a small disk-shaped piece of foam with a dimple and a strap which once placed over your cervix starts working. It is made of polyurethane and releases spermicide all the time to keep you protected for up to 24 hours against unplanned pregnancy.

    Sponge - Barrier Method

    HOW TO

    Put the sponge into the vagina before you have sex. Start by washing your hands, dampening the sponge and giving it a squeeze. This is what kick starts the spermicide, if you don’t add the water or the squeeze, you won’t be as protected as you could be and that won’t be the sponge’s fault. Now with the dimple facing upward fold the whole thing in half and push it up as far as it will go. The sponge should now be covering your cervix but just have a feel around the edges to make sure, also make sure the strap is there so you can get it out again later. You do not need to use more spermicide each time you have sex. After sex, make sure the sponge stays in place for at least 6 hours after having sex. You must take the sponge out within 30 hours after you put it in. To remove it, feel for the strap and pull it out gently. Throw it away after you use it.

    It may not work as well for women who have given birth. Childbirth stretches the vagina and cervix and the sponge may not fit as well.

    PROS / CONS

    • It can be used on demand
    • It can be easily carried with you
    • It isn’t affected by other medications
    • It can be used when breastfeeding
    • It’s hormone free
    • It can interfere with sexual spontaneity
    • Using it can take practice
    • It requires keeping track of the hours inserted
    • Some women may have a hard time taking the sponge out.
    • Not always suitable for women who have given birth
    • Low efficacy even when used as directed
    • It may cause irritation or allergic reactions
    • If you keep it in place longer than 24-30 hours, there is a risk of toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock is a rare but serious infection.
    • Does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

    GIRLS TALK

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    LEARN HOW TO TALK ABOUT IT WITH:

    Your HCP

    Your HCP

    Your healthcare provider knows the subject better than anyone; get the right answers for you

    Your Parents

    Your Parents

    They know you better than anyone, and they’ve been through it too

    Your Partner

    Your Partner

    You’re in this together, and not just in the bedroom, be honest

    FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

      Yes. The contraceptive sponge will not be affected in any way.

      You may use the sponge as often as you wish but not during your menstrual period.

      The contraceptive sponge is held in place by the muscles of the upper vagina. The cup-like indention in the sponge helps to keep it in place directly over the cervix. The opening from the vagina to the uterus is far too small for the sponge to pass through. There is no way that the sponge could access to any other part of your body.

      The sponge is a hormone free vaginal contraceptive that does not disrupt your menstrual cycle.

      Always apply your contraceptive patch to clean, dry skin. Do not use lotions, creams, oils, powder, or makeup on skin where you are going to put the patch or on top of or near a patch you are wearing. These products may cause the patch to fail to stick or become loose.

      The contraceptive sponge should not tear with normal muscular movement within the vagina or even during intercourse. Be careful not to push a fingernail through the sponge when inserting or removing the sponge. There may be minor separation, but these do not affect the contraceptive capabilities of the sponge.

      If you have trouble removing the sponge or think that parts of the sponge are still in your vagina, carefully follow the removal instructions on the given directions. If you still have trouble removing contact your doctor or healthcare provider right away.

      The sponge is made of soft and comfortable material, It feels like normal vaginal tissue. Some partner may feel the sponge during intercourse, but this is usually not objectionable.

      SUPPORTED BY

      A coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health