Birth Control

Birth Control is your choice because you and often, your partner, will have to live with the consequences of a pregnancy, a birth, or, sometimes, an abortion or still born baby. Not every instance of sex results in pregnancy but many might, so, throughout human history, we have been trying to keep that pleasure of sex and minimize the sometime consequences of sexual intercourse.

These attempts have had many versions. Crocodile or elephant dung. Chastity belts. Drinking poisonous compounds; as recently as WW2, some women wanted to work with lead in the hopes that it would make them infertile. That didn't work but lead can result in multiple organ failure as a start. Condoms? Some form of those have been around as far back as 3000 B.C.- things like goat or fish bladders, sheep intestines, linen have been documented. How about a little magic, using mule's earwax and weasel testicle? Want more taste of bizarre attempts to control human reproduction on a personal level? These examples and more  were found at WebMd.

Fortunately we now know more about human reproduction and what is likely to work as "contraception", (against conception). Contraception today consists of many hormonal treatments to fool a female body into not releasing an egg, as well as "barrier methods" like the popular and easy to find condom, that attempt to place a barrier between sperm and an egg. Almost none of these is 100% effective and some do nothing or little to prevent transmitting certain infections in, in the case of pubic lice, infestations. But having sex, how much to have and what you are OK with doing must be your personal choice. And if you have a partner for it, they must be OK with it all too. So, choice of birth control is also personal and should be OK with partners.

Information in this section is very general; often you will be best off to ask a medical person, especially if you are female; age, diet, medical conditions may all have an effect on your menstrual cycle, affecting fertility.

Click here or on the Birth Control tab.

"Today" Sponge (Note: The Today Sponge was previously taken off the market years ago. This was an economic decision and had nothing to do with the safety or effectiveness of the Sponge. It is now back on the market. )

Approximate effectiveness: 85- 90% if used properly. Their site claims "89 to 91% effective if used as directed".

No protection against STDs

The "Today" sponge is a soft, disposable foam disc containing the common spermicide nonxynol-9.It is moistened with water and inserted into the vagina. It's immediately effective- at least as effective as it can get, offering both a barrier to sperm and sperm-killing properties. It's easier to use that the Diaphragm or Cervical Cap and the sperm-killing capability lasts about 24 hours

Because of its relatively low rate of effectiveness, the Sponge is not likely to be a good choice for most sexually active Teens for whom preventing pregnancy is highly important. There are essentially no medical side effects (unless you count a nearly 15% chance of pregnancy as a side effect!) However, there may be medical reasons you cannot use some other methods so you should discuss this with your doctor.

This may be a perfectly good contraceptive for couples in a long-term/married relationship for whom a pregnancy might not be sought after, but if it happened, would not be a bad thing.