A contraceptive device that is donut-shaped, made of plastic, contains a spermicide (nonoxynol-9) and is inserted into the vagina to cover the cervix. A loop is provided to ease removal.
The sponge protects against contraception for up to 24 hours and for multiple acts of intercourse within this time. It is left in place for at least 6 hours after intercourse.
The sponge should not be left in place more than 30 hours after insertion because of the risk, though low, of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The symptoms of TSS include sudden fever, stomach upset, a sunburn-like rash, and a drop in blood pressure.
The history of the sponge in the U.S. has been quite unusual. After its introduction, the sponge became the most popular over-the- counter (OTC) contraceptive for women. Aside from the sponge, the only other “woman-controlled” OTC choices were spermicidal foams or suppositories and the female condom. Unlike those options, the sponge could be inserted up to 24 hours before sex and did not require repeat applications for repeated intercourse. Then, in 1995 the sponge was taken off the U.S. market because of manufacturing problems and economic considerations. Women in France, Canada and other countries could still buy vaginal sponges made outside the U.S. The sponge went back on the American market in 2003.
- Vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is a fluid produced by glands in the vaginal wall and cervix that drains from the opening of the vagina. The amount and appearance of normal vaginal discharge varies throughout the menstrual cycle. An increase in the amount of vaginal discharge, an abnormal odor or consistency of the fluid, or pain that accompanies […]
- Vaginal fornix
The anterior (front) and posterior (back) recesses into which the upper vagina is divided. These vaultlike recesses are formed by protrusion of the cervix into the vagina. The fornix uteri is also known as the fornix vaginae (or the vaginal fornices) and the uterine fornices. The fornix of the vagina in medical Latin is the […]
- Vaginal hysterectomy
Removal of the uterus through a surgical incision made within the vagina. With a vaginal hysterectomy, the scar is not outwardly visible. A vaginal hysterectomy is as opposed to an abdominal hysterectomy in which the incision is made in the abdominal wall.
- Vaginal introitus
The vaginal opening is called the introitus of the vagina. The Latin word “introitus” comes from “intro”, into, within + “ire”, to go = to go into. In anatomy, an introitus is thus an entrance, one that goes into a canal or hollow organ such as the vagina. The vagina is a muscular canal extending […]
- Vaginal membrane
A thin membrane which completely or partially occludes the vaginal opening. This fold of mucous membrane is usually present at birth at the orifice of the vagina. It is also called the hymen, a Greek word meaning “skin” or “membrane.” The ancient Greeks applied the word “hymen” to all kinds of membranes including, for example, […]