194 chapter 9: Family planning
The homemade sponge
You can also use a sponge soaked in vinegar or lemon. This method is not as
effective as the contraceptive sponge, but it may prevent some pregnancies. You may
wish to try it when no other method is available.
How to make a homemade sponge
1. Mix: 2 tablespoons or 1 teaspoon of
of vinegar with
lemon juice with
1 cup of clean
1 cup of clean
2. Wet a boiled piece of sponge about the size of
an egg with one of these liquids.
3. Push the sponge deep into the vagina no more
than 1 hour before having sex.
4. Leave the sponge in for at least 6 hours after
having sex. Then take it out.
1 spoon of salt
with 4 spoons
of clean boiled
The sponge can be difficult to take out, but it cannot get lost in the vagina. It may
be easier to take out if you squat and push down as if you are passing stool, while
you reach into your vagina. If you have trouble taking it out, you can tie a clean
ribbon or string around it for the next time.
The sponge can be washed, boiled, and used again many times. Keep it in a
clean, dry place. The liquid can be made ahead of time and kept in a bottle.
The spermicide or the liquid in either sponge method may irritate the skin inside
the vagina, which can make it easier for a woman to get STIs. Stop using these
methods if they make your vagina dry, sore, or itchy.
Spermicides are foam, tablets, cream, or jelly that are put into
the vagina before having sexual intercourse. Spermicide kills
the man’s sperm before it can get into the womb. It does not
protect against STIs or HIV/AIDS . Tablets should be put into the vagina
10 to 15 minutes before having sex. Foam, jelly, or cream work best
if they are put into the vagina just before having sex. Add spermicide
each time you have sex. After sex, do not douche or wash out the spermicide for at
least 6 hours. Some spermicides can cause itching or irritation to the skin inside the
vagina. The foam is the one most likely to cause an irritation. If you are sensitive to
the foam, try using contraceptive jelly or cream instead.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007