It was made famous in the 1995 episode of Seinfeld when Elaine stockpiled it for boyfriends deemed “spongeworthy”—and now, the contraceptive sponge is set to return to store shelves in the U.S. Introduced in 1983, the Today Sponge, a spermicide-coated polyurethane barrier placed in the vagina to inhibit sperm, was once the most popular over-the-counter birth control for women. It was removed from pharmacies in 1994 after manufacturing problems, then reintroduced in 2005 under new ownership. After the new owner went bankrupt in 2007, the Today Sponge went out of production. Repackaged for a younger generation, it will be sold by a new distributor as of this weekend. Despite its pop culture bankability, the New York Times reports, the Today Sponge might generate comparatively little revenue: its failure rate can be over 10 per cent, and it doesn’t protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
"Spongeworthy" birth control back on store shelves
Contraceptive sponge set to make a comeback