A round piece of foam inserted into the vagina before sex to prevent pregnancy.4.8Sponge
Our 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.
20reviews so far. What do you think?
- 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.
This method is ranked 13 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.SourceMore birth control methods
- 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.
The sponge is a barrier and spermicidal method of birth control, meaning it works by blocking the cervix to prevent sperm from reaching the uterus, and releasing spermicide to kill the sperm. It contains no hormones.