The contraceptive sponge is an over-the-counter contraceptive device. The contraceptive sponge:

  • Doesn't require a prescription or fitting
  • Can be inserted hours before sex and provides protection from pregnancy for 24 hours
  • Can be used as a backup method of birth control
  • Doesn't require a partner's cooperation

The contraceptive sponge isn't appropriate for everyone, however. Your health care provider may discourage use of the contraceptive sponge if:

  • You're sensitive or allergic to spermicide or polyurethane
  • You have vaginal abnormalities that interfere with the fit, placement or retention of the contraceptive sponge
  • You have frequent urinary tract infections
  • You have a history of toxic shock syndrome
  • You recently gave birth or had a miscarriage or an abortion
  • You're at high risk of contracting HIV or you have HIV or AIDS
  • You're at high risk of pregnancy — you're younger than age 30, you have sex three or more times a week, you've had previous contraceptive failure with vaginal barrier methods, or you're not likely to use the contraceptive sponge consistently
Jan. 08, 2013