The sponge is a product that is soaked with a spermicide. This spermicide soaked product is pushed as far into your vagina as possible before you have sex. After you have sex, you need to keep the sponge in for a few hours before you remove it, in order to reap the contraceptive effectiveness.
In general, the sponge is not as effective as other over-the-counter birth control options. If you use the contraceptive sponge perfectly, you get a better form of effectiveness. However, nobody's perfect. In some studies, one in four women who use this form of birth control will get pregnant with each use. So keep that in mind. It's 75 percent effective, and it doesn't prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
If you are considering using birth control that is not prescribed by a nurse practitioner or a physician, the sponge is not the best option. Please consider using condoms, at least until you can get a better birth control option for you. And by the way, condoms are an excellent form of birth control. You don't need to see a doctor. You don't need to tell anybody that you're using anything else. You can just use the condoms. Everybody's happy. And it also prevents sexually transmitted diseases.
So, please, the sponge, while it is convenient in some ways, it is not as effective as using condoms, and it does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases. So I reiterate. Use condoms, and if you don't like using condoms, use them until you can get to your doctor or your nurse practitioner, and then discuss your birth control options in more detail.