The Sponge For You?
Breast Cancer Survivors Say Bring It Back - Today!
is an archived article written two years before the FDA finally
re-approved its use. Here's what we had to say in 2003...)
woman from Michigan who had two bouts with breast cancer and a double
mastectomy was warned to avoid pregnancy. She used the Today Sponge
and avoided pregnancy. She reported that she had two miscarriages
on other methods.
women looking for a good alternative to the pill were dismayed when
the sponge was taken off the market in 1995. The Today Sponge
does not contain hormones.
active ingredient and spermicide, nonoxynol-9, has been available
for 35 years and has been safely used by millions of women.
do women like the sponge? The Today Sponge is made from soft
polyurethane foam that feels natural. Once inserted, the spermicide
remains active for 24 hours and does not have to be refreshed like
the foams and gels used with a diaphragm. No muss, no fuss and easy
250 million polyurethane Today Sponges were sold from 1983
to 1995. Production was discontinued after problems were found at
the plant where it was manufactured. According
to the FDA, there were no questions about the safety and effectiveness at that
the US manufacturer, made the decision to stop production rather
than spend the money that would be necessary to fix the problems
at the New Jersey factory.
foreign brands remained on the market. They were available over
the Internet, but not in US stores. The Canadian version, Protectaid,
does not have a cord attached to help with removing it. The other
option is the Pharmatex. Produced in France, this version
costs twice as much as the Today Sponge.
company, Allendale Pharmaceuticals, saw an opportunity and bought
the rights to the Today Sponge. They began selling the sponge
through Canadian Web sites. The Today Sponge still is not
FDA approved for sale in the United States, but the company expects
to be able to meet the standards and gain approval.
sponges do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and
do not prevent pregnancy as well as the pill, which is 99.1 percent
to 99.5 effective if taken every day. The sponge prevents pregnancy
89 to 91 percent of the time.
who have allergies to nonoxynol-9, polyurethane foam or to the metabisulfite
preservative used in the Today Sponge should not use this
method of contraception. In one study, four percent of the women
developed symptoms of an allergic reaction such as vaginal burning,
itching, redness, rash, and irritation.
on the Web:
Sponge approved by the FDA - April 22, 2005
9 , 2003
April 20, 2017