Menstrual sponge: everything to know to use it well!

The choice of sanitary protection has been growing for several years. The access to reusable and therefore more ecological sanitary protections is much easier than 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 protection against menstruation still unknown to the general public.

What is a menstrual sponge?

It is a type of internal sanitary protection, which works on the same principle as a tampon. It is made from natural sea sponge that will absorb the blood directly inside the vagina. The natural sponges are harvested and then processed to be sold on the market and used as sanitary protection. Of course, not just any sponge can be used! It is therefore an eco-responsible solution since it is zero waste and 100% natural.

What are the advantages of a menstrual sponge?

The menstrual sponge has several advantages in its use. At the unit, it costs between 4 and 5€ and it is reusable during several cycles, you thus make savings.

Alternative to tampons

Menstrual sponges are an alternative to tampons. They work the same way: insert it inside your vagina, the same way you insert your tampon. Like tampons, they are suitable for all women, at all ages. You can bathe with a vaginal sponge, just as you can with a tampon.
Unlike tampons, which contain endocrine disruptors and chemicals, since thesponge is natural, it does not disturb the vaginal flora. This makes it a very comfortable sanitary protection to wear. It adapts to the size of the person who wears it.

Natural and biodegradable protection

It is a zero waste and biodegradable alternative. You can use it for 6 to 10 months before having to change it. It is a zero waste solution since it is 100% biodegradable. It is even possible to compost it. Moreover, by using this protection, you avoid packaging and you save money.

What should I pay attention to before buying a period sponge?

As with any sanitary protection, it has its drawbacks.
Indeed, the period sponge requires a very strict and deep cleaning to eliminate all the bacteria. Moreover, its removal can be complicated since it does not have a cord like tampons. Its removal can also be messy. Finally, it should be noted that it is less effective in terms of absorption than the majority of internal protections.

How to use a menstrual sponge?

Here are some rules to follow on the use of this periodic protection!

To insert it

After washing the sponge and your hands, you should squeeze out all the liquid it contains so that it is just damp. Use your fingers to insert it inside the vagina. It adapts to the shape of your body, as with tampons, you should not feel it, otherwise it means that it is not correctly placed or not sufficiently inserted in 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, contracting your pelvic floor muscles to help expel it. Then, grasp it with your fingers, on the same principle as tweezers. Removal requires a little practice, but when it is soaked in blood, it slides more easily.

To use it again

Before you can use it again, you must wash it with cold water (so that the blood does not clot and leave a residue). At the beginning and end of the cycle, it should be sterilized by soaking it in water with a few drops of essential oil of tea tree (containing antibacterial properties).

Is one sponge a day enough?

The vaginal sponge is less absorbent than tampons or the cup. So, if you have particularly heavy periods or during your heaviest days, you can use an external protection in addition, like the menstrual panties in organic cotton Elia. They are also zero waste and respect your intimate area.

Are there any contraindications to using a vaginal sponge?

The menstrual sponge can be used by all women regardless of their age. But, like any internal protection, it presents certain (rare) dangers of which one must be aware.

As with tampons and menstrual cups, the vaginal sponge can cause toxic shock syndrome. This is a very rare but potentially fatal infection caused by the overgrowth of bacteria. This is why you should change your sponge regularly and not stay with stagnant blood for too long. Indeed, stagnant blood is a good place for bacteria to grow.
If you are wearing an internal protection and you suddenly experience fever, chills, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, a feeling of sickness and a rash, remove the protection immediately and go to your doctor.

Finally, from an ecological point of view, it should be noted that sponges contribute to theecological balance of the seas. Indeed, they allow to filter water and to keep a healthy climate. Also, be careful where you buy them: they should be handpicked, in places where the cultivation is controlled so that the root is preserved and they can continue to grow naturally. This helps to preserve the species.

Menstrual Sponge FAQ

How to remove a vaginal sponge?

Removing a vaginal sponge can sometimes be frightening: unlike tampons, they do not have strings to help remove them. Simply squat down and pull it out with your fingers, like tweezers.

How do I clean menstrual sponges?

The menstrual sponge should be cleaned at the beginning and end of each cycle. For that, there are several methods, you can plunge it in vinegar water to neutralize the value of the PH, or use essential oil of tea tree. Then, each time you remove it, you must rinse it with clear and cold water. It should not be boiled.


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