Research Article| Volume 40, ISSUE 4, P481-496, October 1989

The contraceptive sponge: Factors in initiation and discontinuation of use

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      This study examined characteristics of the contraceptive sponge that were important in women's decisions to use the contraceptive sponge and reasons why women discontinued sponge use. A sample of 385 current sponge users and 407 former sponge users participated in a national telephone survey on sponge use. Important reasons for trying the sponge were effectiveness, comfort, convenience and ease of use and it “would not interfere with sexual pleasure.” The media and physicians were of considerable influence in women's decisions to initiate sponge use, but sexual partners, friends, parents and relatives exerted little influence. The most important reasons for discontinuing use of the sponge were pregnancy, both planned and accidental, and irritation, discomfort or vaginal infection. Women may decide to use the sponge because they have unrealistically positive perceptions of sponge characteristics.
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