Choosing a family planning method
Pulling out (withdrawal)
In this method, a man pulls his penis out of the woman’s vagina and away from her
genitals before he ejaculates. This prevents sperm from getting inside the vagina.
If a man is willing and able to pull out every time before he
ejaculates, this method can work reasonably well. It costs nothing
and is always available. But a man may not want to or be able to pull
out before the sperm comes. This means the woman may get
pregnant. Also, a woman may worry about whether the man will
pull out in time, and feel less pleasure because of that worry. This
method is more effective when combined with another method like spermicide or
This method may give some protection against HIV and other STIs.
The contraceptive sponge is a round circle of foam that is
soaked in spermicide. It should be wet with clean water
before inserting it deep in the vagina with a finger. It
should be left in place for at least 6 hours after sex but not
longer than 24 hours. It can be removed by reaching in
and pulling the attached loop. This method does not
protect against STIs and should be used only by women
who know their partner does not have HIV, as the spermicide in the sponge can
irritate the skin of the vagina and allow the virus to enter the body more easily.
Women may also get more yeast or bladder infections with this method.
Homemade sponge method
With this method, a woman puts a sponge soaked in vinegar, lemon, or salt deep in
the vagina before having sex. This method is not very effective, but it may prevent
some pregnancies. It provides no protection against HIV or other STIs.
How to make a homemade sponge
1. Mix: 2 tablespoons or 1 teaspoon of
of vinegar with lemon juice
1 cup of clean
with 1 cup of
clean boiled water
or 1 spoon
with 4 spoons of
clean boiled water
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.
A Book for Midwives (2010)