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Spermicides (nonoxynol-9) Birth Control

Today® Sponge is the most effective over-the-counter vaginal contraceptive, more effective than spermicides alone. Today Sponge offers 3-way contraceptive protection: barrier + spermicide + absorption.

Nonoxynol-9 is a spermicide used by millions of couples for over 40 years. Nonoxynol-9 prevents pregnancy by killing sperm on contact. Nonoxynol-9 is the FDA approved spermicide contained in Today Sponge, VCF, Conceptrol, Encare, and Gynol.

Effectiveness: Spermicide Alone vs. Today Sponge (3-way protection)

Method Effectiveness over 1 year of use* (when used correctly and consistently every time you have sex)
Today Sponge 91%
Spermicide Alone 82%

When used correctly and every time you have sex, spermicides alone are 82% effective in preventing pregnancy (over one year of use)*.

When used correctly and every time you have sex, Today Sponge is 91% effective in preventing pregnancy (over one year of use)*. Click here for a detailed explanation on how effectiveness is calculated.

*Contraceptive Technology: Nineteenth Revised Edition, New York, NY: Ardent Media, 2007.

Benefits of Today Sponge Over Spermicides

How Do Spermicides Work?

Spermicides work by killing the sperm before they reach the uterus. While use will vary by brand, all spermicides are placed deep in the vagina near the cervix. Today Sponge contains 1000 mg spermicide, an amount sufficient for 24 hours of protection. There is no need to add additional spermicide to the Today Sponge.