Menstrual sponge: everything you need to know to use it properly!

The choice of sanitary protection has been growing for several years now. Access to reusable and therefore more environmentally-friendly sanitary protection is much easier than ever before. Between tampons, disposable and washable pads, cups, menstrual panties... it's easy to get lost! In this article, we introduce you to the menstrual sponge, a type of menstrual protection still little known to the general public.

What is a menstrual sponge?

A menstrual sponge is a type of internal sanitary protection that works on the same principle as a tampon. It's made from natural sea sponge, which absorbs blood directly inside the vagina. The natural sponges are harvested and processed before being put on the market for use as sanitary protection. Of course, you can't use just any sponge! It's an eco-responsible solution, since it's 100% natural and involves zero waste.

What are the advantages of a menstrual sponge?

Menstrual sponges offer a number of advantages. Each one costs between 4 and 5€ and can be reused for several cycles, so you save money.

Alternative to tampons

Menstrual sponges are an alternative to tampons. They work in the same way: you insert them into your vagina, just as you insert your tampon. As with tampons, they're suitable for women of all ages. You can bathe wearing a vaginal sponge, just as you can with a tampon.
Unlike tampons, which contain endocrine disruptors and chemical substances, because thesponge is natural, it doesn 't disturb the vaginal flora. This makes it very comfortable to wear. It adapts to the size of the wearer.

Natural, biodegradable protection

This is a zero-waste, biodegradable alternative. You can use it for 6 to 10 months before needing to change it. It's a zero-waste solution because it's 100% biodegradable. It can even be composted. What's more, by using this protection, you avoid packaging and save money.

What should I look out for before buying a period sponge?

As with all sanitary protection, there are disadvantages.
Period sponges need to be thoroughly cleaned to eliminate all bacteria. What's more, removal can be tricky, since it doesn't have a string like tampons. Removal can also be messy. Finally, it should be noted that it is less effective in terms of absorption than most internal protection.

How do I use a menstrual sponge?

Here are a few rules to follow when using this period protection!

To insert

After washing the sponge and your hands, squeeze out all the liquid it contains so that it's just damp. Use your fingers to insert it inside the vagina. It adapts to the shape of your body and, as with tampons, you shouldn't feel it. If you do, it means it's not being inserted correctly or not far enough into the vagina. Wear it for up to four hours, depending on how much you bleed.

To remove it

To remove the menstrual sponge, the easiest way is to squat down, contracting your pelvic floor muscles to help expel it. Then grasp it with your fingers, like tweezers. Removal takes a little practice, but when it's soaked in blood, it slides more easily.

To reuse

Before you can use it again, wash it in cold water (so that the blood doesn't clot and leave a residue). At the beginning and end of the cycle, sterilize the sponge by soaking it in water with a few drops of tea tree oil (which contains antibacterial properties).

Is one sponge a day enough?

Vaginal sponges are less absorbent than tampons or cups. So if you're having a particularly heavy period, or on your heaviest days, you may want to use an external protection as a supplement, such as menstrual panties made from Elia organic cotton. They too are zero waste and respect your intimate zone.

Are there any contraindications to using a vaginal sponge?

Menstrual sponges can be used by women of all ages. But, as with all internal protection, there are certain (rare) dangers to be aware of.

As with tampons and menstrual cups, vaginal sponges can cause toxic shock syndrome. This is a very rare but potentially fatal infection caused by the proliferation of bacteria. That's why you need to change your sponge regularly, and avoid staying with stagnant blood for too long. In fact, stagnant blood is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
If you are wearing internal protection and suddenly experience fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, headaches, a feeling of malaise or a rash, remove the protection immediately and visit your doctor.

Finally, from an ecological point of view, sponges contribute to theecological balance of the seas. They help filter water and maintain a healthy climate. Also, be careful where you buy them: they should be hand-picked, in areas where cultivation is controlled so that the root is preserved and they can continue to grow naturally. This helps preserve the species.

Menstrual sponge FAQ

How do I remove a vaginal sponge?

Removing a vaginal sponge can sometimes be a little scary: unlike tampons, they don't have strings to help you remove them. All you have to do is squat down and pull it out with your fingers, just like tweezers.

How do I clean menstrual sponges?

Menstrual sponges need to be cleaned at the beginning and end of each cycle. You can dip it in vinegar water to neutralize the PH value, or use tea tree essential oil. Then, each time you remove it, rinse it with clear, cold water. Do not boil it.

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