Contraceptive Sponge for Birth Control
The vaginal contraceptive sponge is a barrier method of birth control. It contains a spermicide called nonoxynol-9. The sponge also blocks the so sperm can't pass. It can be inserted immediately before intercourse or up to 24 hours before. It is left in place for 6 hours after intercourse.
Effectiveness in preventing pregnancy
The sponge is less effective for women who have delivered vaginally than it is for women who have not.
- Sponge failure rates for women who have never delivered vaginally range from 9% to 12%. In other words, for this footnote 1 of women, from 9 to 12 out of 100 will become pregnant in the first year of using a sponge.
- Sponge failure rates for women who have given footnote 1 by vaginal delivery range from 20% to 24%. For this of women, from 20 to 24 out of 100 will become pregnant in the first year of using a sponge.
The difference in sponge failure rates for women who have givento children vaginally and those who have not may be due to changes in the after vaginal .
Effectiveness in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
The sponge does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including infection with HIV. Some studies show that use of the sponge dries and irritates the , which may increase the risk of HIV infection.footnote 2
The use of spermicides with nonoxynol-9 may increase your risk of getting HIV/. So be sure to use a condom for STI protection unless you know that you and your partner are infection-free.
Advantages of contraceptive sponge
- It does not affect future fertility for either the woman or the man.
- It is used only at the time of sexual intercourse.
- It is safe to use while .
- It is available in drugstores without a prescription.
Disadvantages of contraceptive sponge
Failure rates for the sponge and other barrier methods are higher than for most other methods of. Other disadvantages of the sponge include the following:
- Some people are embarrassed to use this method or feel the method interrupts foreplay or intercourse.
- The couple must be comfortable with using the sponge and be prepared to use it every time they have .
- The sponge is not recommended for use during the first 6 weeks after having a baby.
- Trussell J, Guthrie KA (2011). Choosing a contraceptive: Efficacy, safety, and personal considerations. In RA Hatcher et al., eds., Contraceptive Technology, 20th ed., pp. 45â€“74. Atlanta: Ardent Media.
- Speroff L, Darney PD (2011). Barrier methods of contraception. In A Clinical Guide for Contraception, 5th ed., pp. 281â€“313. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical Reviewer Sarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical Reviewer Rebecca Sue Uranga, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofNovember 21, 2017
Current as of:
November 21, 2017