The Today Sponge is back in United States pharmacies.
In an effort to become as popular as it was in the 1980s and 1990s, its packaging has a new look to target younger generations of women.
The contraceptive sponge, a sponge made of plastic foam, helps to prevent pregnancy by covering the cervix and keeping sperm from entering the uterus, and by rendering sperm immobile through the release of spermicide. According to The New York Times, the sponge was introduced in 1983 and disappeared just over a decade later due to manufacturing issues. Though rereleased in 2005, it was not as popular as it once was and the company was forced to declare bankruptcy two years later.
Though the sponge is one of many reliable forms of birth control that maintains a loyal following, it has its disadvantages. It can be difficult to remove and the spermicide can cause vaginal irritation for some women. It, like oral contraceptives, does not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases. And, when used correctly, the sponge is only 89 to 91 percent effective. Still, it's available over the counter, is relatively affordable and is hormone-free.
I'm interested to see the reception and sales of the Today Sponge and think it's important for women to have lots of options when choosing a method of birth control that works for them.
Are you loyal to the sponge? Do you recommend it as a form of birth control?
Nina Jacinto is a freelance blogger living in the Bay Area. Her other writing can be found at her website.