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The sponge is a round piece of white plastic foam with a little dimple on one side and a nylon loop across the top that looks like shoelace material. It's pretty small (just two inches across) and you insert it in your vagina before you have sex. The sponge works in two ways: It blocks your cervix to keep sperm from getting into your uterus, and it continuously releases spermicide.


Comfortable with your body
It's a lot like putting in a tampon.

It takes discipline
You've got to remember to insert the sponge each and every time you have sex, so it takes a bit of self-discipline and planning.

Allergy issues
If you're allergic to sulfa drugs, polyurethane or spermicide, you shouldn't use the sponge.

Not while you're bleeding
If you're having your period, don't use the sponge.

The pregnancy question
You'll be able to get pregnant as soon as you stop using the sponge. So protect yourself with another method right away.

Side Effects

There are positive and negative things to say about each and every method. And everyone's different, so what you experience may not be the same as what your friend experiences.

The Positive

  • You can put the sponge in up to 24 hours in advance
  • Neither you nor your partner should be able to feel the sponge
  • Doesn't affect your hormones
  • No prescription necessary
  • Can be used while breastfeeding

The Negative

  • Some women have a hard time inserting it
  • Can cause vaginal irritation
  • Some women are allergic to sulfa drugs, polyurethane, or spermicide and shouldn't use the sponge

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