Medical devices

Menstrual Sponge – Use & Health Benefits

Menstrual sponge

Reusable menstrual hygiene products are becoming increasingly popular today. After all, they are also significantly more environmentally friendly and sometimes healthier than single-use products. In addition to menstrual cups and cloth pads, menstrual sponges are also popular.

What is a menstrual sponge?

The menstrual sponge is also known as the Levantine sponge because it is grown on the Levantine coast. The menstrual sponge is an absolutely sustainable natural product: the root is preserved during harvesting so that it can grow back until the next harvest.

The sponge is one of the oldest hygiene items and is used in a similar way to a tampon . The user wears it in her vagina during menstruation . It has the advantage over conventional disposable tampons that it can be cleaned again and used over several menstrual cycles .

In addition, it is completely free of chemical pollutants. The sponges can also be worn with menstrual cups. Both products are available in pharmacies, in the pro familia advice centers or in online shops.

Shapes, Species & Types

Since the Levantine sponge is a purely natural product, it does not have a uniform shape. The size can also vary from product to product. On average, the menstrual sponge has a round to slightly oval shape and a size of five to seven centimeters. Products that can be cut to any size are also available on the market. However, when wet, shape and size may change. It should therefore only be cut after it has been moistened and worn for a test. If the sponge is perceived as uncomfortable, then the size is not right.

If the bleeding is very heavy, two sponges can be inserted one after the other to absorb the large amount of blood . For a complementary use to the menstrual cup, the sponge should be cut so small that it fits into the menstrual cup.

Menstrual sponges are available in two different shades of colour: unbleached they are slightly brownish in color and bleached they are yellow.

Structure & functionality

Menstrual sponges are not used immediately after purchase. They are first placed in a 1:2 vinegar-water mixture. Before each insertion, the sponge is moistened with water and then squeezed out.

Inserting the sponge works best with two fingers. This is very similar to a tampon. It is then pushed deeper into the vagina with the middle finger. When properly seated, the sponge will take on the shape of the vagina.

The sponge is cleaned at least every eight hours or even when it has become saturated with blood. Menstrual bleeding is heaviest in the first two days. Then the menstrual sponge should be washed out and reinserted after two to three hours. Once the bleeding stops, it can remain in the vagina for four to six hours. If used at night, it is only cleaned the next morning.

Taking it out and washing it out is very easy. When the sponge has become soaked with blood, it automatically slides in the direction of the vaginal entrance. This makes it easy to take out with your fingers. But if it’s not moist enough, you can use your pelvic floor muscles to push it down. When cleaning, the sponge comes under running, cold water. Prompt treatment with warm water would cause the blood to clot. Then a smear of blood remains that can no longer be removed from the sponge. Before reinserting it is held under lukewarm water and squeezed out again. The warm material properties are often felt to be more comfortable during insertion.

At the end of a menstrual period, the menstrual sponge is cleaned so that it is as blood-free as possible – but again first with cold, then with warm water. Under no circumstances should it be boiled or treated with strong cleaning agents. Now he comes back into the vinegar water for a while so that all germs are killed. After drying, the sponge is stored in a cotton bag until the next bleeding.

Medical & health benefits

Due to its natural origin, the Levantine sponge is absolutely skin-friendly and free of harmful substances. No TSS cases are known here either. TSS stands for Toxic Shock Syndrome , which can occur when using tampons. Finally, tampons can contain toxic residues that enter the body through the vaginal mucous membranes . They also sometimes leave fibers in the vagina that can lead to allergic reactions.

The menstrual sponge, on the other hand, is lint-free and at the same time so soft that it does not damage the vaginal mucous membranes when inserted. The natural material also ensures that the vagina does not dry out, since the sponge, unlike a tampon, only absorbs excess liquid.

The menstrual sponge is also not at a disadvantage compared to disposable tampons in terms of use: it is comfortable to wear, the sponge remains invisible in the vagina and the wearer cannot feel it. However, if the bleeding is heavy, the sponge may be less absorbent than a large tampon.

The maximum wearing time is eight hours, just like the conventional products on the market. Whether at night or even during sports – menstrual sponges can be worn at any time of the day. It may cost a little more to buy than a pack of tampons or pads, but it will soon pay for itself. Finally, the Levantine sponges are also intended for use over several cycles.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.