A sponge is a donut shaped piece of foam that contains spermicide. 

The sponge is positioned at the end of the vaginal canal before sex.

How does the sponge work?

The sponge prevents pregnancy by sealing the opening of the cervix and blocking, trapping or absorbing sperm.  

In addition, it constantly releases spermicide that kills sperms

How is it used?

The sponge needs to be moistened with at least a couple of teaspoons of water to activate the spermicide. 

Once it is wet, it is inserted inside the vagina and positioned at the end of the vaginal canal right over the cervix

The sponge can be inserted into the vagina several hours before sex and can be kept in place for up to 30 hours.

During the first 24 hours the woman can have sex several times, hours apart, without needing to remove and reinsert the sponge.

The sponge needs to be left in place for at least six hours after the last sexual act.

The sponge cannot be reused.

How effective is it?

If the sponge is used correctly, it is very effective at preventing pregnancy

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the sponge?



It is easy to carry around 

It is used only when needed and because it can be inserted well before sex, it doesn’t spoil the momen

With the sponge, the control over contraception is totally in the hands of the woman

The sponge doesn’t require a medical visit or a prescription 

The sponge doesn’t require any fitting

Usually, neither partner can feel the sponge 

The sponge had no side effects

It might take a while to learn how to insert and remove the sponge

If the sponge is too wet, it can make sex, messy

The sponge cannot be used during a woman’s period. It can increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome 







Where can I buy it? 

The sponge isn’t readily available in Kenya.  But it can be found in some pharmacies and drugstores.  They can also be found in some private and public health facilities. 

Does it offer STI protection?


The sponge doesn’t offer any protection against STIs. 

If you have sex and want protection against STIs, always use a condom. 

Also test for STIs at the beginning of the relationship. 

Avoid changing partners frequently.

Did you learn something?

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