Why it's done

The contraceptive sponge is available over-the-counter and:

  • Doesn't require a prescription or fitting
  • Can be inserted immediately or up to 24 hours before sex
  • 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 right for everyone. There are several contraceptive options and you should discuss with your doctor whether any may be better suited for you.

Your health care provider may not recommend a contraceptive sponge if you:

  • Are sensitive or allergic to spermicide or polyurethane
  • Have a vaginal abnormality that affects the way the contraceptive sponge fits
  • Have frequent urinary tract infections
  • Have a history of toxic shock syndrome
  • Recently gave birth, had a miscarriage or had an abortion
  • Are at high risk of contracting HIV or you have HIV or AIDS
  • Are at high risk of pregnancy — you're younger than age 30, 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