What was the sponge?

elaine from seinfeld saying spongeworthy

Have you ever encountered the sponge?

I asked men and women of my generation, if they've ever used, or for that matter heard about the birth-control device known as the sponge being used.

And? They only know about it because of Seinfeld.

Outside of The Show About Nothing I think that it was maybe a footnote in my (almost) abstinence only sex ed class in high school?

But there were a lot of Seinfeld reruns after school, so I might be just cramming memories together.

So what was this mysterious birth control contraption?

So I did some research, apparently the sponge was a little sponge soaked in spermicide that women in the 90s would shove on up inside themselves to kill their dude's swimmers.

The manufacturer of the Today sponge reports effectiveness for prevention of pregnancy of 89% to 91% when used correctly and consistently. When packaging directions are not followed for every act of intercourse, effectiveness rates of 84% to 89% are reported. from a reputable source

The sponge became available in United States in 1983, but was pulled from shelves in '94 and as such was immortalized by Elaine. Why was it pulled? Well, because the FDA imposed new manufacturing standards. And why would they do that? Several people were getting Toxic Shock from the damn things, which I understand is very uncool.

Compare that to condoms which are supposed to be 98 percent effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly. And offer the whole STD protection thing, while also making sex numb and boring. But also won't give you toxic shock.
diagram of how the sponge works

So thats the Sponge pretty neat yeah?

Kids in my generation probably won't ever have to say if someone is sponge worthy or not, but I mean there was yaz?