How do you use it?
The sponge is easy to use. Always follow the instructions that come with your sponge, or that your doctor or nurse have given you.
Otherwise, the directions for use are as follows:
Insertion: With clean hands, wet the sponge with at least two tablespoons of water. Give the sponge a gentle squeeze to make sure it’s wet all over (spermicide only becomes active when the sponge is totally wet).
Fold the sides of the sponge away from the loop at the bottom so it’s easier to insert. Using your fingers, insert the sponge by gently pushing it into your vagina, as far as is comfortably possible.
The sponge will unfold once you let go of it with your fingers. Once it’s in, you can check it’s position with your fingers, making sure your cervix is covered and you can still feel the little loop at the bottom.
When to insert it: You can put a sponge in up to 24 hours before having sex.
How long to use it: The sponge can be used for up to 30 hours at a time. It must be left inside your vagina for at least 6 hours after having sex. So, if you put it in long before sex, remember to subtract this time from your total time of 30 hours.
For example, if you put it in 6 hours before sex, you can then leave it inside your vagina for another 24 hours before taking it out.
During the time it’s inside your vagina, you can have sex as many times as you like, as long as you leave it in for at least 6 hours afterwards.
Removal: The sponge has a small nylon hoop at the bottom that you can pull when you need to remove it.
Your sponge shouldn’t ever break into pieces when you’re taking it out. If it does this, contact a nurse or doctor to help you remove it all and to get emergency contraception to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
When to use it: You shouldn’t ever use the contraceptive sponge if you’re on your period, or have any form of vaginal bleeding. Wearing the sponge while you’re bleeding could increase your chances of getting toxic shock syndrome. If the sponge irritates you or your partner's genitals this can increase the risk of STI transmission.
Using it again: You can only use a contraceptive sponge once. It isn’t reusable. Throw your sponge away in a waste container (not down the toilet) and use another sponge the next time you have sex.