I'm sure we've all heard about this interesting form of birth control (possibly from an old Seinfeld episode) and I've got to tell you that the Today® Sponge, though weird and uncommonly talked about, is back.
So where did it go and why? It was originally introduced in 1983 and went off the market in 1995 because the former manufacturer didn't want to pay for the costs of getting the plant up to acceptable manufacturing standards. In 2005, Allendale Pharmaceuticals, Inc. purchased the Today Sponge and updated the manufacturing equipment to meet all of the current FDA manufacturing standards, so it's back on the shelves.
It's a hormone-free birth control option made of a soft, disposable medical grade polyurethane foam that feels like natural vaginal tissue. The 1.75 inch sponge is moistened with water and contains the spermicide nonoxynol 9. Once you insert it into your vagina, it will prevent pregnancy for up to 24 hours. It's 89-91% effective and is great for people who like the idea of spermicidal creams and gels, but who don't like the messiness.
Does the Today Sponge prevent against STIs? To find out read more
Also, some people may have a sensitivity to nonoxynol 9, so if you experience a burning sensation, or a weird discharge, chances are this method of birth control isn't right for you.
You can find the Today Sponge at most pharmacies or drug stores (check out the new hot pink packaging!) and it costs about $10 for 3 sponges.
Dear's Advice: The Today Sponge is a great option if you are in a mutually monogamous relationship with someone who is disease-free.