The Today Contraceptive Sponge is a soft, round contraceptive device. It is coated with spermicide and and blocks sperm from entering the cervix. The Today sponge is a reversible, over-the-counter barrier method of birth control.
The Today Sponge was first introduced in 1983 and became the largest-selling over-the-counter female contraceptive in the U.S. It was the first product to combine a spermicide and a barrier contraceptive in one easy-to-use product for women. To date, over 150 million sponges have been sold.
The sponge was voluntarily taken off store shelves in 1995 by its previous manufacturer who chose to stop producing it rather than make FDA-mandated changes to the equipment at their manufacturing plant. It is important to stress that the sponge was never taken off the market due to safety issues -- the problem was with the equipment at the old manufacturing site.
In 1998, Allendale Pharmaceuticals bought the patents to start producing the birth control sponge again. After receiving FDA approval of their manufacturing plant, the Today Sponge was re-introduced in Canada in March 2003; then, it was sold again in the U.S. in September 2005.
In 2007, Allendale Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Synova Healthcare, Inc. However, 11 months later, Synova filed for bankruptcy, and the Alvogen Group, Inc. purchased the rights to the Today Sponge.
In 2008, Mayer Labs signs an agreement with the Alvogen Group, Inc. for exclusive distribution rights of the Today Sponge in the United States, Europe and Canada.
May 2009 - The Today Sponge is re-launched in more than 13,000 drug stores across the United States and online.
It is important to note that the recent distribution interruption of the Today Contraceptive Sponge was not the result of product quality, effectiveness or consumer demand. It was taken off the market only because its previous owner, Synova Healthcare Group, filed for bankruptcy.
Even though the birth control sponge has had a bit or a tumultuous past, this safe and popular birth control method is finally available again. Here is where you can buy the Today Sponge:
- As of May 2009, the Today Contraceptive Sponge can be purchased in 6,500 CVS/Longs drugstores.
- As of June 2009, the sponge can be found on the shelves in 6,700 Walgreens and 200 Duane Reade stores.
- As of August 2009, all 4,808 Rite Aid drugstores have the Today Sponge available for purchase.
- As of November 2009, Sav-On Drugs and Krogers stores carry the Today Contraceptive Sponge. You may also want to check your local natural retailers/supplement stores as many are beginning to add the Today Sponge to their shelves in an attempt to expand their sexual wellness section. New Seasons Market (in the Portland, Oregon area) has also begun to carry the Today Sponge.
- As of November 2010, the manufacturer of the Today Sponge began shipping it to Shoppers Drug mart in Canada - this way, the sponge could be easily available in both the US and Canada.
- As of November 2011, the Today Sponge can be purchased at Walmart and Target stores as well.
- You can also purchase the Today Sponge from their website. The cost is $13.99 for a 3-pack package (3 sponges). The company will also provide free first class shipping if you buy 12 or more sponges. Mayer Labs is also encouraging sponge lovers to join their SpongeWorthy Club – where you can save time, receive free shipping and save up to 20% off your Today Sponge purchases.