Sponge: Basic Info
The sponge is a round piece of white plastic foam with a little dimple on one side and a nylon loop across the top that looks like shoelace material. It’s pretty small—just two inches across—and you insert it way up in your vagina before you have sex. The sponge works in two ways: It blocks your cervix to keep sperm from getting into your uterus, and it continuously releases spermicide. Think of it like a bouncer at the nightclub door to your uterus.
The Right Time health centers stock all methods of contraception and offer free or low-cost contraception to those who need it.
You wouldn’t mind getting pregnant
The “typical use” failure rate for the sponge can range from 12-24%, which is pretty high. So if getting pregnant would be disastrous for you, think about another method.
You’re comfortable with your body
If you’re not okay with putting your fingers inside yourself, the sponge probably isn’t for you. It’s a lot like putting in a tampon, though: If you can do that, you can probably manage the sponge.
It takes discipline
You’ve got to remember to insert the sponge each and every time you have sex, so it takes a bit of self-discipline and planning. But at least you can carry it with you if you want.
Wanna go again?
Once the sponge is in, you can have sex as many times as you want within a 24-hour period. Just remember to leave it in for at least six hours after the last time you have sex and don’t leave it in for more than 30 hours total.
If you’re allergic to sulfa drugs, polyurethane, or a spermicide, you shouldn’t use the sponge.
The pregnancy question
You’ll be able to get pregnant as soon as you stop using the sponge. So protect yourself with another method right away.
Don’t take our word for it. Check out the videos above to hear people talk about their experiences with the sponge.