The Vaginal Contraceptive Sponge is made of soft plastic, approximately two inches in diameter, it contains one or more spermicides and is inserted into the vagina over the cervix. The spermicides are released for up to 12 hours while the sponge is in place. For maximum contraceptive effectiveness, the sponge should remain in place at least six hours after intercourse.
Each sponge has two slots a woman can use to hold for removal, and once it has been removed, it cannot be used again. The sponge can be purchased without a prescription and has relatively few side-effects, but its effectiveness varies from 64% to 90%.
Women are rarely allergic to the sponge. However, some users of the sponge may be at increased risk for toxic shock syndrome, which is associated with the use of highly absorbent tampons. If you experience any of the warning signals of toxic shock, which includes vomiting, diarrhea or a sunburn-like rash, you should call your health care provider immediately.
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