Birth Control Bingo: Lea's Shield, the Sponge or Spermicide?

Part of Scarleteen's Birth Control Bingo. Need to go back a question? Or start over?

On the previous page, you said that you would prefer, need or manage a barrier method which is NOT condoms, but that you can obtain either over the counter or through mail-order. You have also previously stated that you are NOT sensitive or allergic to spermicides.

If you are sensitive or allergic to spermicides, you'll need to either consider condoms or a Copper-T IUD⁠ if you want a non-hormonal method which is also not behavioral, or start over and consider other methods which are not barrier methods. All other barrier methods besides condoms require spermicide⁠ to be effective or contain spermicide.

That leaves you with three choices: the Lea's Shield, the Sponge or spermicide. All of these methods are often less effective when used alone than other methods of contraception⁠ , but if you're okay with that, or plan to use them with a backup method, let's narrow down which might be best for you, make one last choice:

I would prefer NOT to have a barrier method inside my vagina⁠ OR I am okay touching the outside of my vulva⁠ , but not reaching inside my vagina at all; or I have trouble reaching deeper inside my vagina due to my size or a disability AND/OR I am comfortable either using a second method with my method or with only moderate protection against pregnancy⁠

Click here if this statement is most true for you, and find out⁠ about spermicides.


I am fine with having a barrier method inside my vagina, and either prefer to or need to purchase via mail order or through my sexual⁠ healthcare provider⁠ , or am okay doing so AND I would prefer a method that is designed to help reduce the risk of vaginal infections as a side effect AND/OR I would prefer a method that is reusable, rather than disposable, either to save money or for environmental reasons

Click here if this statement is most true for you, and look at the information about Lea's Shield.


I am okay with a method which is not reusable, but disposable, or would prefer a disposable barrier AND I am fine with having a barrier method inside my vagina, but prefer one I can get over-the-counter AND I am comfortable with a spermicidal foam being visible to my partner⁠ in or around my vagina AND/OR I want a barrier method where I do not have to add extra spermicide for repeated acts of intercourse⁠

Click here if this statement is most true for you, and read up on the Sponge.

If any or all of those things DO NOT work for you, AND if none of the options for methods before that last question worked either, then you may want to consider a hormonal method. Or, you may want to start over from the top⁠ of this page or the previous one to see if you can't strike a compromise somewhere, such as by being willing to see a sexual healthcare provider for a fitting, or to be willing to only choose partners who commit to condom⁠ use.

Similar articles and advice

  • Heather Corinna

If you're considering the contraceptive sponge as a birth control method, or already use it and want more information.