The female contraceptive sponge has evolved to be highly popular as a female contraceptive option due to its simple and extremely uncomplicated usage and easy availability and affordability. There have been doubts in certain quarters regarding its effectiveness but like all other contraceptive options, the effectiveness of this one too depends wholly on its correct usage and several other factors. The other associated factors are like whether the woman has already delivered a child or not.
How is it Contraceptive Sponge Used?
- The sponge needs to be first moistened with clean hygienic water. It needs to be made foamy before insertion.
- While inserting it into the vagina, the woman needs to position it in a manner that gets fixed right over the cervix.
- The sponge can be kept inside the vagina from 12 to 24 hours
- During this period the woman receives continuous protection from unwanted pregnancy regardless of the number of time intercourse happens.
- The most vital point to note here is that the sponge must be allowed to stay in place for at least six hours after intercourse takes place.
Possible Side Effects of Contraceptive Sponge
Side effects with the use of contraceptive sponge are very low. The reason is attributed to the absence of any hormonal medicines in it. Hormonal medicines can cause natural side effects in most women. However, it is better to note that there are a few side effects that have been observed in some women:
- While using it that is, during the insertion it is possible that the sponge can wear or tear a bit. This reduces the effectiveness of the sponge and might cause accidental pregnancies.
- Some women using the sponge regularly also reported yeast infections in their cervical and vaginal area.
- Spermicides are often found to cause allergies. So irritations and allergic reactions can also occur.
- The Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare complication that can happen with several other barrier contraceptive methods as well.
- This is why it is important to ensure that the sponge is removed within a maximum of six hours after insertion.
- Women having a prior history of TSS should avoid the use of sponge.
Advantages of Contraceptive Sponge
The sponge has been found to be the most appropriate contraceptive method for women with any of the following conditions:
- Those who prefer a disposable contraceptive compared to any permanent or semi-permanent method.
- Those who like to opt for alternatives that do not require medical prescriptions. The sponge is available over-the-counter at all medical stores.
- Those who are regular smokers. They are likely to experience discomfort and complications using other contraceptive options that work on or with hormones.
- Women above the age of 35 are advised not to go for hormonal methods of birth control. They are likely to feel more comfortable with the sponge.
- Hormonal methods are likely to come with several possible side effects. Women who do not want to experience the risks and the side effects can safely opt for the sponge.
- To stay safe from accidental pregnancy, women who prefer back up methods to a condom or the pill.
- Women, who can be sexually spontaneous and prefer to avoid the messy gels, oils and cremes.
- Finally, women who find it difficult to fit in the diaphragm.
This is how women can benefit from the usage of sponge for the contraception purpose and can avoid unwanted pregnancies.