Frequently Asked Questions
22. Is oral sex OK?
1. Can I leave Today Sponge in place when I swim or bathe? (Back to top)
Yes. Today Sponge will not be affected in any way.
2. Has Today Sponge changed since it was first released? (Back to top)
The Today Sponge has not changed since it was first introduced in 1983. It is still the same great product. However, as you may have noticed, the packaging has been updated.
3. Can I use the Today Sponge daily? (Back to top)
You may use the Today Sponge as often as you wish but not during your menstrual cycle.
4. How does Today Sponge stay in place? Can the sponge get lost in my body? (Back to top)
Today Sponge is held in place by the muscles of the upper vagina. The cup-like indention in the sponge helps to keep it in place directly over the cervix. The opening from the vagina to the uterus is far too small for the sponge to pass through. There is no other normal opening in the vagina that would provide access to any other part of your body.
5. Will the Today Sponge affect my menstrual cycle? (Back to top)
The Today Sponge is a hormone free vaginal contraceptive that does not disrupt your menstrual cycle.
6. How can I reduce the chances of a serious infection including sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? (Back to top)
• Read Warnings and Other Information sections before use.
• You may want to see a doctor or health professional for advice on how to reduce the risk of STDs, especially if you have a new sex partner or multiple sex partners.
• Correct use of a latex condom by your partner with every sexual act will help reduce the risk of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) and many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
• Do not leave the sponge in vagina longer than 30 hours.
• Make sure that all of the sponge is removed from vagina.
• Wash hands before inserting and removing the sponge.
7. Can I use Today Sponge during my menstrual period? (Back to top)
Today Sponge should not be used during the menstrual period. Some cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome have been reported in women using the sponge during their menstrual period.
8. Can I have an allergic reaction or other side effects from the Today Sponge? (Back to top)
If you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to sulfites, do not use this product because it contains sodium metabisulfite. A small number of men and women may be sensitive to the spermicide, nonoxynol 9, in this product, and you should not use this product if irritation occurs and persists. Of the women in clinical trials, between 2-3% discontinued use of the sponge because of itching, irritation, or rash, and 1-3% discontinued because of allergic reactions.
9. What if Today Sponge develops an odor? (Back to top)
It is unlikely that you will notice an odor while Today Sponge is in place. If there is a noticeable odor when you remove the sponge, do not be concerned. Any material placed in the vagina will occasionally produce an odor when exposed to normal vaginal fluids and semen.
10. Can I insert Today Sponge after intercourse? (Back to top)
No, the sponge must be inserted before intercourse begins. Once the penis enters the vagina, there is a greater chance of getting pregnant because there may be the leakage of sperm without ejaculation and, with ejaculation, sperm reaches the fallopian tubes even more quickly.
11. Can Today Sponge tear while it is in place? (Back to top)
Today Sponge should not tear with normal muscular movement within the vagina or even during intercourse. Be careful not to push a fingernail through the sponge when inserting or removing the sponge. There may be minor separation or “splitting” of sponge material at stress points around the ribbon loop or in the center of the indentation. But these minor separations do not affect the contraceptive capabilities of Today Sponge in any way.
12. What if I have trouble removing Today Sponge? (Back to top)
If you have trouble removing the sponge or think that parts of the sponge are still in your vagina, carefully follow the removal instructions on the directions. If you still have trouble removing the sponge call the Mayer Labs Product Support Line at 1-877-494-2525 or contact a health professional right away.
13. Can my partner feel Today Sponge during intercourse? (Back to top)
Today Sponge is designed to be soft and comfortable. It feels like normal vaginal tissue. Some men may feel the sponge during intercourse, but this is usually not objectionable.
14. Can I get Toxic Shock Syndrome from using the Today Sponge? (Back to top)
Some cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) have been reported in women using barrier contraceptives, including the sponge (1 case per 100,000 estimated sponge users). TSS is a rare, but serious disease that may cause death. Warning signs of TSS include fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, dizziness, faintness or a sunburn-like rash on face or body. If you have any of these signs, remove the sponge and get medical help right away.
15. Is Today Sponge as effective as the pill or IUD? (Back to top)
No. Today Sponge is not as effective as the pill or IUD. See Table of Pregnancy Rates for Birth Control Methods.
16. Will the Today Sponge dissolve or come out by itself? (Back to top)
The Today Sponge will not dissolve by itself. You must take it out. In some cases, such as during a bowel movement, the Today Sponge may be expelled. If it has not been in place for 6 hours after the last act of intercourse, you should insert a new Today Sponge. Do not reinsert the one that was expelled.
17. Can I use the sponge if I’m taking a medication? (Back to top)
Please consult your doctor if you are taking any medications.
18. I had a discharge when I used the Today Sponge. Is this normal? (Back to top)
Some women may have a reaction to the Today Sponge that can trigger a white discharge that could be confused with a yeast infection. A physician should be consulted in order to evaluate the situation. If the condition persists, the user may want to consider another method of contraception.
19. Can I use the sponge if I’m nursing? (Back to top)
If you are nursing, you should consult your physician before using Today Sponge.
20. If I get pregnant while using the Today Sponge, will there be a problem for the baby (birth defects)? (Back to top)
The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that there is no evidence to support the association between the use of spermicides and birth defects.
21. It is not time for my period, but there was blood on the Today Sponge when I removed it. What happened? (Back to top)
Many women spot between periods, particularly during ovulation, but it is so slight that the blood drains out with normal vaginal secretions and is never noticed. Because the Today Sponge is white and absorbent, it may indicate the occurrence of spotting. If bleeding is unusual, continual, or heavy, consult your physician or health care professional.
22. Is oral sex OK? (Back to top)
The ingestion of small amounts of spermicide is not harmful. Some individuals have noticed a slightly salty taste or a mild numb sensation on the lips. This may be caused by a slight initial sensitivity to nonoxynol 9. Some people are sensitive to the spermicide in varying degrees, and the tissues of the mouth are more likely to exhibit this sensitivity than the skin of the penis. The numbness should go away on its own. However, if your partner is concerned or if the numbness persists, you should contact a physician or health care professional.
23. Will the Today Sponge dry me out? (Back to top)
Some women have found that the Today Sponge absorbs some of the natural vaginal secretions. To help avoid this, it is important to make sure the Today Sponge has been wet thoroughly before use. If this becomes a problem for you, we recommend the use of a water based personal lubricant like Aqua Lube® with the Today Sponge.