How it Works
The Today Sponge prevents pregnancy by providing a barrier to keep sperm from reaching the cervix and by constantly releasing spermicide, which inhibits sperm’s movement. It is a foam sponge that is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix.
How to Use
The Sponge can be inserted up to 24 hours before sexual intercourse and must be left in at least six hours after the last instance of intercourse. Prior to insertion, it is important to run the Today Sponge under water until it is thoroughly wet. When it is completely drenched, the spermicide will become active. Gently squeeze the Sponge to test the wetness. Fold the sides of the Sponge upward and away from the loop on the bottom. The shape should now be long and narrow. Slide the Sponge as far back into your vagina as your fingers will reach. When you let go of it, the Sponge will unfold and cover the cervix. You can check whether it’s in the right position, by sliding your finger around the edge of the Sponge and ensuring it’s covering the cervix. Also make sure the nylon loop is on the bottom.
Be sure to leave the Sponge in for at least six hours after the last instance of sexual intercourse, but do not leave it in for more than 30 hours total. To remove, put your finger into your vagina and hook the loop. Slowly pull the Sponge out. Discard it immediately.
The effectiveness of the Sponge depends on whether or not a woman has given birth before. For women who haven’t given birth and always use the Sponge exactly as directed, it is 91% effective. For women who have given birth and always use the Sponge exactly as directed, it is 80% effective.
A pack of three Sponges costs $9-15. Each Sponge should be thrown away after removal and not reused.
- The Today Sponge does not interrupt sexual play, as it can be inserted hours before sexual intercourse. In the majority of cases, the Sponge cannot be felt by the woman or her partner.
- Women like the Today Sponge because it can be used while breastfeeding, it does not affect their natural hormones and it does not carry any of the side effects of hormonal birth controls.
- Women who are allergic to sulfa drugs or polyurethane or spermicide – the materials that make up the Sponge – should not use the Today Sponge. The Sponge is not for women who have recently had an abortion or a miscarriage or who have just given birth. The Sponge cannot be used during the menstruation cycle.
- The Today Sponge can be difficult for some women to insert. After insertion, if the Sponge breaks into pieces and you cannot remove all the pieces, see your healthcare provider immediately.
- Some women have complained of the Sponge making sex too dry. A water-based lubricant can help remedy this. Others have complained about the Sponge being too messy and requiring too much liquid.
- The Sponge does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or HIV (AIDS).
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How effective is your birth control?
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