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revised Friday October 12 2007


What is the Sponge?

The sponge is a small round sponge made of polyurethane foam. It is latex and hormone free.

How does it work?

Before vaginal sex or genital contact, the sponge is placed in the vagina to cover the cervix. It contains spermicides, which kill and trap sperm.

How effective is it?

The sponge is 90% effective in preventing a pregnancy if used alone. It is 98% effective in preventing pregnancy if used with a condom.

Who should not use the sponge?

The sponge should not be used in women who have a history of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). It should not be used during menstruation.

How do I insert the sponge?

Read and follow the package instructions carefully.

Things to know:

  • It is available without a prescription and can be bought at a drug store/pharmacy. The approximate cost is $9 per box.
  • The sponge must be left in the vagina 6-8 hours after intercourse. It can be left in the vagina for up to 12 hours.
  • The sponge should never be re-used.
  • It is easier to remove while sitting on the toilet. This shortens the vaginal depth. You may need to push down with your muscles to push the sponge closer to the vaginal opening. Removal takes practice.
  • Remember - the sponge cannot get lost!
  • You may notice an odour when you remove the sponge. Any material placed in the vagina will produce an odour when exposed to normal vaginal fluids and semen. If the sponge is discoloured or a foul smell persists in the vaginal area, call the clinic. It may mean you have a vaginal infection.

Use condoms to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and Hepatitis B.

For more information, call 905-799-7700 and ask for Sexual Health Information.

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Revised: Friday October 12 2007

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