Home Sexuality Menstrual sponge: how it works!

Menstrual sponge: how it works!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 323 views

menstrual sponge is a sustainable period product made from natural materials. Similar to period underwear and a menstrual cup, the sponge can be reused over a longer period of time. Read here about the advantages of the sponge and how to use, clean and store it!

Menstrual sponge: what is it?

Many women use pads or tampons during their period. These produce a lot of waste and are sometimes disposed of incorrectly via the toilet. In the meantime, however, there are some sustainable alternatives: In addition to menstrual cups, period underwear and self-sewn cloth pads, you will also find the so-called menstrual sponge on the market.

This is a fine-pored, yellow or brown sponge that comes in different sizes. Since this is a natural product, the sponges are not uniform in size, shape and colour. It is usually oval in shape and five to eight centimeters tall, depending on the version.

The product is inserted into the vagina like a tampon and absorbs the menstrual blood there. The sponges do not have a return strap, so they can be removed with your fingers, cleaned and can be reused for up to a year.

Menstrual sponges are also known as Levantine sponges. The reason: they are fine-pored and are mainly harvested on the Levantine coast. This includes the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, which stretches from Turkey via Syria and Israel to Libya.

Sponges are multicellular invertebrates. This means they are not vegan.


Before using it for the first time, soak the menstrual sponge in vinegar water (mixing ratio of one part vinegar to two parts water ) for a few hours before using it for the first time. This neutralizes the pH and cleans it. Then rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water.

When it is wet, it is also easier to assess whether the sponge fits or is too big. If it seems too big, trim it with clean scissors.

Insert menstrual sponge

Insert the wet menstrual sponge into the vagina. To do this, hold it under water, then squeeze out all the liquid and insert the sponge like a tampon. Use your middle finger to push the menstrual sponge further up. The sponge adapts to your body shape – ideally you won’t feel it when you’re wearing it.

wearing time

As with a tampon, how long you wear it depends on the strength of your menstrual period: During the heavier phase, change the sponge every two to four hours, after which it is sufficient to change it every four to eight hours. As long as the bleeding is not too heavy, it can be worn overnight without any problems.

On heavier days, you can insert two sponges or combine the menstrual sponge with pads or period underwear.

You can read more about period underwear in the period underwear article .

Remove menstrual sponge

Since the menstrual sponge does not have a withdrawal cord, it is easiest to remove it while crouching. To do this, tighten the pelvic floor muscles and press the sponge down. Then grab it with your index finger and thumb and pull it out. This takes some practice at the beginning.

If you are unsure, you can also tie or sew a piece of cotton thread around the sponge. In principle, however, it is impossible for you to push the menstrual sponge in too far.


Before reinserting the sponge, wash it with lukewarm water so that the blood does not clot and can be removed without leaving any residue.

After the period, you need to clean the sponge thoroughly. To eliminate germs, put it back in vinegar water. Then rinse the sponge thoroughly with lukewarm water – the temperature must not be too high, otherwise the material will become hard and no longer absorb liquid. Under no circumstances should you boil the menstrual sponge.

Put the sponge in a warm and dry place to dry. The bathroom is not suitable because of its high humidity.

In the event of a vaginal infection, dispose of the previously used menstrual sponge and replace it with a fresh one after the treatment – this will prevent reinfection.


Store the menstrual sponge in an air-accessible place. Cotton bags, stockings or wash mitts are good options. An airtight container is not suitable as the sponge is a living organism.

Menstrual sponge: you should pay attention to this!

The sponges from which the hygiene products are made are important for the ecological balance of the sea. They filter the sea water for their food intake and thus contribute to a healthy climate.

Therefore, when buying, make sure that you only buy hand-picked sponges from controlled cultivation areas. During the harvest, care is taken to ensure that the roots of the sponges are preserved and that the species do not die out.

Because the sponge is soft and sits in the upper part of the vagina, it’s good for vaginal intercourse during your period. He does not bother and allows bleeding-free sex. The partner usually does not feel anything from the menstrual sponge either.


Since the menstrual sponge is a natural product, it has certain advantages over other period hygiene products.

  • The menstrual sponge is free of plastic or other harmful substances.
  • Unlike tampons or pads, menstrual sponges are reusable. This saves you waste.
  • Menstrual sponges do not dry out the vagina and are therefore particularly comfortable to wear – their advantage over tampons or a menstrual cup .
  • The sponge adapts to the shape of the vagina and is therefore not noticeable. Sport, swimming and sex are possible without any problems.


A menstrual sponge has the big disadvantage that it is difficult to change in public toilets. In this case you have the option to keep the used sponge in a small can or bag until the next cleaning opportunity and use a fresh sponge.

However, make sure that it does not take too many hours before the next cleaning, otherwise germs may form.

For whom is the menstrual sponge not suitable?

Menstrual sponges are not recommended after childbirth. There is an increased risk of infection here due to the weekly flow. Therefore, wait until it stops before using the period product.

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