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Sponge: Side Effects, Benefits and FAQs

Side Effects

The Positive

  • You can put the sponge in up to 24 hours in advance
  • You can have sex as many times as you like while it’s in
  • Neither you nor your partner should be able to feel the sponge
  • Doesn’t affect your hormones
  • No prescription necessary
  • Can be used while breastfeeding

The Negative

  • Some women have a hard time inserting it
  • Can cause vaginal irritation
  • May make sex messier or even dryer
  • Some women are allergic to sulfa drugs, polyurethane, or spermicide and shouldn’t use the sponge
  • Hard to remember to use if you’re drunk

Also, failure rates vary wildly with the sponge. It all depends on whether or not you’ve had a kid. For women who haven’t given birth, the failure rate is 9% for perfect use and 16% for real-world use. For women who’ve already had kids, the failure rate is way higher—20% for perfect use and 32% for real-world use.

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