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Effectiveness: 68-91%

A small pillow shaped foam sponge that contains spermicide and acts as a barrier so that semen doesn’t get into the uterus. Protection lasts up to 24 hours, no matter how many times the person has sex. It must be left in the vagina for at least 6 hours after sex before it’s taken out and thrown away.


Availability: Over the counter, no prescription needed

Cause of Failures:

  • Not using it as directed
  • Inserting it incorrectly
  • Removing it too early

STI Prevention: None

Note: It is most effective for those who have not given birth. Some people have allergies to spermicide or to the sponge itself. There is a small risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome if the sponge is worn for longer than 24 hours.