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1) Barrier Methods
The Male Condom
Male Birth Control Pill
The Female Condom
Cervical cap
Contraceptive Sponge

2) Hormonal Methods
Implants (Norplant)
Shots (Depo-Provera)
Birth Control Pills
Chewable Birth Control Pill

3) IUDs (Intrauterine Devices)

4) Emergency Contraception
    New Emergency Contraceptive Ella

The Contraceptive Sponge

      The contraceptive sponge is a small, pillow-shaped polyurethane sponge that contains a spermicide. There is a concave spot on one side of the sponge that fits over the cervix and acts both as a barrier for sperm and helps to keep the sponge in place during intercourse. The opposite side of the sponge has a small loop to assist in the sponge's removal after intercourse. The contraceptive sponge comes in one size and is available over the counter at most drugstores. The contraceptive sponge can be inserted up to 24 hours prior to intercourse, enabling spontaneous sex, and provides effective birth control if intercourse occurs more than once during that period. The sponge is removed 6 hours after intercourse.

The sponge is often used in conjunction with other birth control methods, most often condoms. This adds a second element of pregnancy prevention, further decreasing the changes of pregnancy. The contraceptive sponge has several benefits. These include ease of use, affordability and comfort. As well, the sponge is available without a prescription and can be purchased at most drugstores.

Visit the Reproductive Health Online website, sponsored by Johns Hopkins University for more information about reproductive health and birth control methods.

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