A round piece of foam inserted into the vagina before sex to prevent pregnancy.
Our pharmacists’ bottom line
The sponge may be more of a hassle than other methods of birth control, but it does not contain any hormones so you will get fewer side effects.
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
- No hormones so you tend to get fewer side effects.
- You and your partner shouldn't be able to feel the sponge during sex.
- You can insert the sponge up to 24 hours before having sex – so it won't get in the way in the heat of the moment.
- Fertility typically returns right away since there are no hormones involved.
- You can have sex as many times as you want in 24 hours once it's inserted.
- Cheap and doesn't require a prescription.
- Safe to use while breastfeeding.
- Can be hard to remember to use in the heat of the moment.
- Might make sex messy (too much liquid in the sponge) or dry.
- You have to be comfortable with your body since you insert and take it out on your own.
- Might take some practice to insert and remove it correctly.
- Less effective for women who've given birth.
- It might feel a bit uncomfortable during sex.
- Not suitable for women who are allergic to sulfa drugs, polyurethane or spermicide.
- Don't use it during any kind of vaginal bleeding, like your period – it can lead to toxic shock syndrome.
- Does not protect against STDs.