Birth Control Sponge

The sponge is small, soft, and round foam that is inserted into the vagina before sex. It blocks the cervix to keep sperm from reaching the uterus, and it also has spermicide in it, which is a substance containing chemicals to slow sperm down to make it harder for them to reach the egg.

How effective is it against pregnancy?

  • Typical use: Prevents pregnancy 86% of the time
  • Perfect use: Prevents pregnancy 91% of the time
  • Using the sponge correctly and consistently increases its effectiveness. If you use the sponge perfectly, it is about 91% effective at preventing pregnancy.

How to Use:

  • Insert into the vagina up to 24 hours before having sex
  • After sex, remove and throw the sponge away


  • No prescription necessary
  • Can use while breastfeeding
  • Doesn’t interrupt sex
  • Once inserted, you can have sex multiple times within 24 hours


  • Must use every time you have sex
  • Using spermicide may raise the risk of getting HIV and other STIs
  • Less effective for people who have previously given birth
  • Does not protect against HIV or other STIs – use a condom with this method

More info: How Do I Use a Birth Control Sponge?

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