Over-the-counterNo hormonesClass: Barrier

Sponge

No
Yes
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4.8Sponge
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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.

People’s experience with Sponge

20reviews so far. What do you think?

Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Upsides

  • 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.
What’s the failure rate?
24%
of people using this method got pregnant in a year

This method is ranked 13 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.Source

More birth control methods

Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

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.

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Side effect rates for Sponge

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