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Sponge is making me squeamish

By June 29, 2009 - 5:12pm
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I have just now put in the TODAY sponge for the first time and I feel super squeamish! It's bothering me so much that I am thinking of wrenching it out right away but am trying to get used to it.
It's not that I can actually FEEL it....I believe that I have inserted it correctly, but I THINK that I can feel it. The idea if it is making me feel woozy. I think it's because it is a weird looking contraption and quite big and filled with sudsy spermacide and most of all has a thick strap...aagh! I am a squeamish type person anyway. I refuse blood tests! Sometimes even tampons make me feel weird if I think about them in there but it helps that there is an applicator. The sponge is worse in that you have to put it up there yourself...and I generally dislike how it feels in there anyhow.

Please help with any advice. I'm going to have to grow to like it as my boyfriend gets nothing out of condoms, I am not into using the pill right now and the sponge is relatively easily available and convenient to use...if ONLY I can start to bear it!

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Eeek! That doesn't sound like it's the solution for you at all. Anything that causes you that much discomfort isn't a good long-term prospect for birth control.

Are you considering going back to the pill, or are you thinking you will look into the possibility of getting a diaphragm?

Diaphragms are fitted by your doctor or physician's assistant -- they come in a number of sizes -- and are then available by prescription. They cost between $25-$50 usually and then you have to buy spermicidal gel over the counter to use with them.

A diaphram is a soft rubber dome that holds a spermicidal cream or gel and is inserted into the vagina and then placed over the cervix. You can insert it a couple of hours before sex and then you leave it in at least six hours afterward. You might have to practice a time or two to get comfortable with using it, and it sounds like that might be hard for you to do if even getting the sponge out make you freak. are a couple of references that show what they look like and tells how they work:




What do you think? Does that look like something that is more compatible with you and your life than the sponge seems to be?

July 8, 2009 - 9:15am

So I tried the sponge again. This time my boyfriend and I had sex while I had it in. I was tense and didn't enjoy it too much...Also, I could feel everything a little too intensly. Also, he could feel the strap, though he said it was better than a condom, at least.
I left the sponge in for 6 hours, as indicated and when I went to remove it, it was stuck up inside very far and I panicked, cried and freaked out....I had difficulty distinguishing it from my innards! I had to get my boyfried to remove it (which he did). What a relief! Boy I hate that thing....never want to use it again! Suddenly the extra weight, increased risk of cancer, etc. of the pill isn't looking so bad! The sponge sucks!

July 7, 2009 - 12:02am

Thanks Anon,
Where do I get a diaphragm and doesn't it have to be professionally fitted?

July 1, 2009 - 11:49am
EmpowHER Guest

I'd try a diaphragm. They're really easy and you can't feel it at all. At least I can't. The sponge kind of freaks me out too!

July 1, 2009 - 11:07am

Thanks Diane and Michelle!
I am going to try again today. I will post later on. The thing is, since I quit the pill, I actually really want to have sex way more! Now I realize that the pill was putting a dampner on my libido! This should give me incentive enough to keep trying with the sponge! Btw, how does the diagphram or cap work? It seems smaller than the sponge and less invasive visually.

July 1, 2009 - 10:47am
Expert HERWriter

Hello rlyons,

The title of your post caught my eye. One of my girlfriends used the Today sponge back in the early 90s before they were pulled from the market and reading what you wrote is like hearing my friend describe pretty much exactly what she told me happened to her. Like you, she liked the concept of the sponge but then when she went to use it she felt all weird, kind of like she had an infection or something. Once she pulled it back out she felt better.

Like you said, I suppose it could be sort of psychosomatic since it was bothering you anyway but I think that Diane P has some amazing points in her post above mine. You were experiencing real symptoms and not pleasant ones either.

From what I can recall, my friend stopped using the sponge by the end of her first box and went on birth control pills for awhile. But I know you've just stopped using The Pill and want to try something else. I'd say to try what Diane P suggested and maybe use the first box as a practice box just to get used to them, and if you still can't stand them you can think about Plan B. I like her contact lens analogy very much, that's a great thing to compare it to.

Please post again to let us know how it's going. Best in health, Michelle

June 30, 2009 - 10:45pm


First of all, no phobia is silly! We fear what we fear, and when we can, we work through it. But if you were feeling feverish and woozy, those were real symptoms, regardless of whether they were caused by the sponge or by a little bit of panic.

You probably DID feel it, even if it was inserted perfectly correctly. That doesn't mean you wouldn't get used to it fairly quickly. Think about contact lenses -- in the beginning, they seem awkward and strange to us, and we can feel them, and we don't think we can ever put something in our eye. And soon, we do it perfectly easily, and we can't feel them once they're in. It's just a matter of getting used to something.

Are you sure you had it positioned correctly? Even if you did, it's possible you had a little cramping, since the sponge is held in place by the upper muscles of the vagina. Here's the Planned Parenthood diagram of the correct placement:


Hang in there, try it again, and just leave it in for a few minutes longer this time. Maybe the whole first box of your sponges will end up just allowing you to get used to them -- if so, big deal! Perhaps by trying a little longer each time you can get to the point where it doesn't feel odd to you. And maybe your boyfriend can put up with the condoms while you're getting used to the sponge?

June 30, 2009 - 6:25pm

I actually just took it out as I started to feel a bit weird; feverish and faint...very strange. It's probably psychosomatic and I would still love some advice on how to control my silly phobia.
I really thought that I could feel myslf cramping inside but this is hardy probable, right? It was really up there! LOL

June 29, 2009 - 8:51pm
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