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    family planning

    How much effective is Birth Control Sponge? Pros and Cons of the Birth Control Method

    • 4.7   (5 Votes)

    Birth Control Sponge is a Birth Control Method which can be used as and when required before having sex. Birth Control Sponge does not affect hormonal levels as well. Proper usage of this birth control method is must to make it as effective as contraceptive pills.

    The contraception sponge is a donut-shaped, small foam type sponge that inside contains a spermicide called Nonoxynol-9. The contraceptive sponge is a type of a vaginal barrier method that prevents from getting pregnant or conceiving by keeping sperm away from entering the vagina from fertilizing an egg that your ovaries produce every month. It is important to remember that the sponge does not protect you from STIs or STD's. To reduce the risk of getting an STD's or STI's, always use the condom before doing intercourse. Women using spermicide and are allergic to nonoxynol-9, they strictly should not use any vaginal barrier method that contains this spermicide named nonoxynol-9. Contraception sponge is one of the best birth control methods and better than oral contraceptive pills. (1) (2) (3)

    contraception, birth control methods

    It's pretty small in size- just two inches across so insert it up into your vagina before you have sex. The sponge works in two ways: Firstly, it blocks your cervix to prevent sperm from getting into your uterus and prevents you from getting pregnant, and it continuously releases spermicide. Contraception sponge is one of the best birth control methods and better than oral contraceptive pills. 

    How is birth control sponge used?

    Insertion Of Birth Control Sponge

    It can be inserted into vagina 24 hours before having sex but it should not be kept inside the vagina more than 30 hours.

    • Hands must be washed properly
    • The sponge should be wet with a few drops of water
    • To activate the spermicide, the sponge must be squeezed gently
    • A sponge should be folded in half
    • Then inserted into the vagina by using your finger
    • Sponge unfolds by itself and covers your cervix completely
    • To make sure whether it is in the right place or not the finger is moved around the circumference of sponge
    • It must not be inserted more than one time but couples can have intercourse as many times they want as long the sponge is in there and also prevents from getting pregnant (4) (5)

    Removal Of Birth Control Sponge

    To remove it from a vagina, you must wait at least six hours after sex. Contraception sponge is one of the best birth control methods and better than oral contraceptive pills. 

    • Wash your hands with soap and water
    • Insert your fingers into your vagina and grab the loop
    • Gently pull out the sponge and throw it away. Do not flush your sponge down the toilet. Do not reuse a sponge (6)

    What is the effectiveness of the birth control sponge?

    • 9 out of 100 women will get pregnant if they always use the sponge correctly and have never given birth before
    • 12 out of 100 women will get pregnant if they do not always use the sponge correctly and have never given birth before
    • 20 out of 100 women will get pregnant if they always use the sponge correctly and have given birth before
    • 24 out of 100 women will get pregnant if they do not always use the sponge correctly and have given birth before (7)

    birth control methods, birth control

    How is long birth control sponge effective?

    It gives protection for 24-30 hours

    What are the pros of the birth control sponge?

    • It’s available without a prescription
    • You can buy it at most drugstores
    • You can insert it up to a day before having sex
    • You can use it as needed, rather than daily or monthly
    • It doesn’t affect your hormone levels (8)

    What are the cons of birth control sponge?

    • It’s less effective if you’ve given birth
    • It’s unsafe to use during your period
    • It doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs)- only contraception and condoms can do that
    • The sponge or spermicide may irritate your vagina, which can increase your risk of STIs
    • Insertion and removal can be messy or difficult (9)

    birth control, contraception, birth control methods

    What are the risks of birth control sponge?

    Leaving the pieces of the sponge when it breaks down inside in your body may cause a serious infection. Contraception sponge is one of the best birth control methods and better than oral contraceptive pills. The contraception sponge is also associated with a slightly increased risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This condition may cause fever and organ damage. To reduce the risk of TSS from the sponge, make sure to:

    • Follow the package instructions for insertion and removal carefully
    • Never leave the sponge inside for more than 30 hours
    • Avoid using the sponge entirely during menstruation or if you have vaginal bleeding (10)

    IUD (IntraUterine Devices) is the most effective method to avoid pregnancy. To know more about IUD, please read our article on Copper T. In case you are specifically looking for oral contraceptive birth control pills, then explore our in-depth researched article on Best Oral Contraceptive pills.





    Priyanka Rainu

    I found birth control sponge to be same as diaphragm. Can someone tell me the difference between these two types of birth control methods?

    Oct. 12, 2018, 12:45 p.m. 5.0


    Tracey Wain

    Suppose you have not placed the sponge at the correct position then you may get pregnant. I think it is very risky to use.

    Sept. 1, 2018, 11:12 p.m. 5.0


    Punita Arora

    This is the most new form of birth control that I have come across. Well, there is some serious development going on in the field of contraception.

    Aug. 28, 2017, 6:09 p.m. 4.5


    Meen Munoz

    You might take some time to get into the habit of birth control sponge. But a regular use will make you perfect.

    Aug. 28, 2017, 6:07 p.m. 4.5


    Radhika Pal

    The birth control sponge appears to be a much better option that other contraceptives like an IUD or pills. It's both easy and safe. I wanted something similar.

    Aug. 28, 2017, 6:06 p.m. 4.5

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