Over-the-counterNo hormones

Sponge

No
Yes
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Over-the-counterNo hormones

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.

24%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year
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  • 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.

These are side effects of Sponge (All) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.

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