A SPERMICIDAL SOLUTION.
ACTIVATE WITH WATER
The sponge is a small disc of latex foam that contains spermicide and is placed against the cervix to prevent pregnancy. It can be left inside the vagina for up to 24 hours, making it perfect for spontaneous but uninterrupted sex. While many find the sponge a convenient method of contraception, it isn't suitable for everyone – particularly women who have given birth.
To use the sponge, simply wash your hands and dampen the sponge with tap water. This is an important step, because it starts the release of the spermicide. Now, with the dimple facing up, fold the sponge in half and place it as far as it will go, until it covers your cervix. Check the edges to make sure it's fitted properly, and you're good to go. After sex, leave it in for at least six hours, and then simply pull on the strap to remove it and throw it away. It is important to remove the sponge within 30 hours, as in some cases it can raise the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
HOW IT MEASURES UP
CAN THE SPONGE GET LOST INSIDE ME?
The sponge is held in place by the muscles in the upper vagina, and the indentation in the sponge helps keep it in place directly over the cervix. The cervix opening is far too small for the sponge to pass through, so there is no way the sponge could get lost inside the body.
CAN I PLACE THE SPONGE IN MY VAGINA AFTER INTERCOURSE?
No. The sponge must be placed before you have sex to be effective.
WILL MY PARTNER OR I FEEL THE SPONGE DURING SEX?
The sponge is made from a soft material that feels like vaginal tissue. Some partners may feel the sponge, but most people don't find it uncomfortable.
I’M NOT ON MY PERIOD, BUT THERE WAS BLOOD ON THE SPONGE WHEN I REMOVED IT. WHAT HAPPENED?
Some women spot between periods, particularly during ovulation, so this is no cause for worry. If the menstrual bleeding is unusual, continual, or heavy, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or nurse about it.
CAN THE SPONGE CAUSE VAGINAL DRYNESS?
Some women find that the sponge can absorb some of the natural vaginal secretions. To help prevent this, it's important to wet the sponge thoroughly before use. If you follow the directions carefully and still experience dryness, it is recommended to use a water-based lubricant with the sponge. If you'd prefer not to do this, it may be worth considering alternative methods of contraception.
WHY IS THE SPONGE SOMETIMES CALLED THE TODAY SPONGE?
The Today Sponge is simply a brand name for one of the first sponges made available on the US market in 1983.
HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Make an appointment with your doctor or nurse today.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
How long the sponge offers protection.
The overall rate at which the sponge is effective with typical use.
The year the Today sponge was created by Bruce Ward Vorhauer.
- It’s self-administered and used on demand.
- It’s hormone-free and can be an option for women who experience unwanted effects from hormones.
- It can be used when breastfeeding.
- Placing and removing the sponge can take practice.
- It requires careful tracking of the hours it is used, because it must be left in place for six hours after sex, but not more than 24 hours in total.
- It may not be suitable for women who have given birth.
- It doesn’t protect against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 6 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
The Hormonal Coil is a small, soft T-shaped plastic frame that releases low levels of a progestin hormone for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed in your womb by a doctor or nurse.
A small, flexible silicone rod that releases hormones for up to 3 to 5 years. It is given with a prescription and placed under the skin of your upper arm by a doctor or nurse.
A small tablet containing one hormone, or a combined pill containing two hormones, that is self-administered with a prescription and needs to be swallowed at the same time each day.
A shot containing hormone(s) that is given with a prescription and administered by a doctor or nurse every 1 or 3 months.
A small, thin, skin-colored plastic square that sticks to the skin and releases hormones. It is given with a prescription and can be self-administered once a week.
A silicone cup placed in the vagina that prevents sperm from reaching the womb. Though some are fitted by a doctor or nurse, most are self-administered with a prescription up to 24 hours before sex.
A small, flexible ring that is self-administered with a prescription and placed in the vagina, where it releases hormones for 3 weeks.
An internal condom that works in the same way male condoms do, though it is placed in the vagina. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A sheath placed over the erect penis to stop sperm from reaching the vagina, it is also the only method that helps lower the risk of STIs. It is self-administered and bought over the counter.
A small, round piece of foam with a nylon loop that is placed in the vagina right before intercourse. It is bought over the counter and is self-administered.
Self-directed methods of avoiding pregnancy that include menstrual cycle tracking and body temperature measurements to identify fertile days.
Creams, films, foams, gels and suppositories that contain chemicals to stop or kill sperm. These are bought over the counter and are self-administered.
Also known as ‘the pull-out method’, this self-directed method involves withdrawing the penis prior to ejaculation to avoid pregnancy.
A medical procedure performed by a doctor or nurse that blocks the tubes carrying sperm.