If you are only aware of the washing sponge found in the kitchen to scrub utensils and dishes, then prepare yourself to get enlightened about the sponge we’ll be talking about in this article. The birth control sponge, also known as the contraceptive sponge or the sponge, is a non-hormonal way, one of the countless methods to avoid pregnancy while engaging in sexual activities swiftly. In physical appearance, the birth control sponge is small and has a round, doughnut shape. It is made from silky, soft plastic material that can be squished.
This birth control sponge also has a fabric loop attached to it so that you can take it out easily once you’re done. Aside from condoms and birth control pills, this is another method that is quickly gaining attention. It is attached deep into the vagina before sex. Unlike the other options, the birth control sponge is an easy option and has been reported to be just like a tampon when inserted.
It’s understandable how many options are available now and how difficult it is to choose one. Therefore, this article will look at the dynamics of the birth control sponge, how it works, how it is to be inserted, why it is better than the rest of the options of birth control, and what mechanisms help avoid pregnancy.
Let’s get into it!
Know All About How The Sponge Works
Since the birth control sponge is to be attached deep into the vagina, it should cover the entire cervix. The sponge works its magic in two to three ways in total. The birth control sponge successfully blocks the sperm as it fully engulfs the covering of a cervix, thus giving no entry for the sperm to travel.
For further protection, the birth control sponge contains spermicide – that efficiently kills any sperm that makes its way to the cervix. Lastly, the contraceptive sponge also can trap and absorb sperm. It is looked upon as a more convenient way than pills and other ways available.
However, just like all products, the birth control sponge has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss later in this article.
Find Out How To Use The Sponge
Learning how to put the sponge inside is a crucial step. It is essential because it takes a little more preparation than other ways. Before you put the sponge, you must wash your hands with soap and water. Washing your hands beforehand will ensure the elimination of all sorts of germs. After taking it out of its wrapper, wet it with clean water to activate the substance, aka spermicide. The sponge should be wet enough but shouldn’t be dripping or too dry. The birth control sponge should be foamy when you insert it inside. Insert the sponge as deep as you can in your vagina, with the indentation facing up and the sides folded too. Before insertion, you should get into a comfortable position, e.g. squatting or sitting at the edge of a chair.
It is essential to remember that you insert the sponge immediately before engaging in sexual activities or 24 hours before. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t leave it inside your vagina for more than 30 hours, and keep the birth control sponge for at least 6 hours after sex for removal.
Now that you know the insertion process, let’s also discuss the removal process.
To remove the sponge, you must again wash your hands with a hand wash or soap. Next, put your hand inside the vagina, and grab the fabric loop. Once you have grasped the fabric loop, gently pull the sponge out and trash it. Kindly don’t use the same sponge again as that would be highly unhygienic, and never flush it down the toilet drain either.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Sponge
The birth control sponge comes with its own sets of pros and cons, which any user must know before they pursue its use in their daily lives.
One of the benefits of the birth control sponge is that it’s easily available at any pharmacy or drugstore, and you can purchase it without a doctor’s prescription. You can insert it inside a day before, as the sponge lasts for more than 24 hours. It is completely hassle-free as it can be used whenever one wants and needs it, rather than daily or monthly. The sponge doesn’t affect your hormone levels, and women really enjoy that factor.
The disadvantages include the birth control sponge becoming less effective after giving birth. If you happen to be on your period, using the sponge wouldn’t be a good idea since it is unsafe to use it during that time of the month. Even though it is a good choice, the sponge itself or the substance- spermicide can irritate your vagina. The insertion or removal process may be complicated or messy for some women using it.
Risk Factors Of The Sponge
There are some risk factors of using this sponge. If the sponge happens to break into pieces while inserting or removing, you must immediately see a doctor. The leftover pieces can potentially cause havoc, as they may cause infection.
It will be better not to use the sponge if you happen to be allergic to any of the materials in the sponge or spermicide. Lastly, follow all the instructions given on the packet, avoid leaving the sponge for more than 30 hours, and avoid using it if you are on your period.
The effectiveness of the sponge ultimately depends on how well you use it and whether or not you’ve been pregnant or not. In order to take the birth control sponge’s effectiveness a level higher, you can ask your partner to pull out before ejaculating. You can also ask your partner to wear condoms while performing sex.
Despite the sponge being an option, most women would prefer it. Sadly it doesn’t protect you against sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). On the other hand, it can increase the risk of getting infected with any disease- due to the spermicide as it can irritate your vagina and give complete access to different types of bacteria and viruses to travel. Hence, to ensure that a pregnancy doesn’t happen and that you don’t get affected by any STIs, you can ask your partner to wear a condom for a safer experience.
Nonetheless, if you believe that the birth control sponge is the perfect option for you, you can definitely go for it. It would be a safe move to discuss your birth control options with your doctor or a healthcare professional, as they would be able to guide you in a better way or come up with a better option.