Is the Today Sponge available in the United States? While production of the product halted in 1994, the sponge has made a comeback in the U.S. market.
Today Sponge Removed from U.S. Market
The Today Sponge hit the U.S. market in 1983, but this birth control option was no longer available in stores in the U.S. after the Food and Drug Administration found problems with the product. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the FDA removed the product from store shelves for "health reasons."
A 1995 brief article, " Today Sponge Discontinued," cites specific reasons for the removal of the product. The product was produced in a plant in Hammonton, New Jersey, that failed inspection in March of 1994. The FDA found two major problems:
- The company did not validate microbiological test methods.
- Equipment sanitation was sub-par.
Contaminated products that can spread disease are under strict public health standards, but the manufacturer of the Today Sponge, Whitehall-Robins Healthcare, could continue production after correcting the problems. The company considered the task to be too costly and ceased production rather than upgrading the facility.
Call for a Comeback
Consumer reaction to the removal of the Today Sponge from store shelves was strong and it inspired a classic episode on the popular television show, Seinfeld, in which Elaine Benes hoarded sponges, reserving them only for men who were "sponge worthy." Many women found the nonprescription birth control to be convenient and effective and demand for the product was great.
Allendale Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to sell the contraceptive birth control, answering the many voices asking, "Is the Today Sponge available in the United States?"
Is the Today Sponge Available in the United States?
The FDA approved the Today Sponge for sale in the United States in 2005, yet there appears to be some challenges when trying to find this birth control in stores and pharmacies. Although the Sponge has been found to be safe, effective, and convenient, it still can be difficult to find for many consumers.
Why is the product so difficult to find? It may simply be that retailers are apprehensive to stock shelves with a product that had been previously withdrawn by the FDA. Some consumers may think that the product is dangerous and the prospect for sales may seem too low. However, it appears that the birth control is in high demand and since the FDA has found the product to be safe, it may appear in stores more frequently.
Where to Buy the Today Sponge
Where can you purchase the Today Sponge? The sponge is available through a number of retailers, including popular pharmacy stores like CVS and Rite Aid. However, you may want to call your local store to see if it carries the product. If it doesn't, you have other options to consider.The Today Sponge is available through its official website. You can buy the sponge on the website and discounts may be available if you play the "Spongeworthy Game" featured there. Other online retailers offer the product as well and shopping online for the birth control may be the easiest approach.
If online shopping isn't a convenient option for you, try calling your local pharmacy and ask if they can stock the product. Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid do offer the product but it may not available in all areas. Showing that there is a demand for the birth control may prompt stores to stock their shelves.
Check with You Doctor
Another factor to consider is your doctor's approval. The birth control sponge is not suitable for every woman, so it is important that your physician is aware of the method you choose. Once your doctor gives the go-ahead, you can purchase the Today Sponge in the United States.