Warum du Menstruations-<br>schwämmchen niemals auswaschen solltest.

Natural sponges vs. soft tampons

Sponges were used as a period product long before they were sold as a retail product. Most often, natural sponges are advertised, which are marketed as environmentally friendly and reusable. However, there are a number of issues with the natural sponges that have led to them being questioned by many medical experts. Newer soft tampon products, such as nevernot, claim to be environmentally and health conscious, even if this is still a challenge in the area of ​​"sexual wellness".

So what is a natural sponge? What is a soft tampon? And how do they differ?

Natural sponges:

Natural sponges are sea creatures whose bodies are made of an incredibly absorbent material called spongemin. Sea sponges use their spongy structure to constantly filter seawater to support all of their physiological functions. Sea sponges are harvested, dried and resold for their ability to retain liquid. Smaller sponges are often used as menstrual products. However, for licensing reasons, these often need to be advertised as "Cosmetics" rather than "Personal Care", which is a good starting point to explain why they're not suitable for the job:

Investigations have shown that sea sponges, as filtration organisms, still contain particles of sand, mold, yeast and bacteria even after death - even after cleaning. One of these bacteria is Staphylococcus aureus, the main cause of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is a rare but life-threatening disease in which bacteria enter the bloodstream and release toxins that can have catastrophic effects. TSS is primarily associated with the use of tampons with high absorbency. Sea sponges also increase the levels of Escherichia coli and Enterobacter colonies in the vagina, bacteria commonly associated with urinary tract infections. Traces of pathogens and dirt can still be present even after the sponge has been washed or decocted, so there is no safe way to use sea sponges intravaginally. In addition, the nature of sea sponges is believed to cause micro-trauma in the vagina during insertion and removal. The development of numerous small sores on the vaginal wall further increases the risk of infection, discomfort and vaginal dryness.

Soft tampons:

Soft tampons are typically made from artificial foam, which means there is no risk of pre-existing bacterial colonization. nevernots soft tampons are made from polyurethane foam that is tested and certified. It is 100% free of harmful substances. Polyurethane foam is the same material used to make baby care products - so it's super safe for your vagina! The ergonomic shape, smooth texture and flexible nature of the nevernot soft tampons make micro-trauma very unlikely. This is because the material adapts to your body and its movements. The soft tampons are subjected to regular quality checks to ensure that the materials used do not damage tissue or cells.

The nevernot soft tampons are intended for single use. This reduces the risk of TSS to a level comparable to that of standard tampons or a menstrual cup.Since soft tampons are not reusable, their use naturally raises questions about the sustainability of the product. In order to guarantee the highest possible level of sustainability, nevernot attaches particular importance to fair production and environmentally friendly packaging - nevernot also works on alternative materials to reduce the consumption of To be able to significantly reduce the use of crude oil in production and the CO2 emissions of the processes.

Der ultimative Game-Changer für's Bett: die nevernot Gleitgele

The summary:

In summary, it can be said that menstrual sponges and soft tampons could not be more different. Sea sponges contain the remnants of a lifetime of filtration that can alter the biome of the vagina, causing trauma and leading to infection. (A quick side story: While working in sex worker health care, I had to remove pieces of a decomposed sea sponge from a woman's vagina...) By comparison, a soft tampon like nevernot's is made for vaginal use. It is designed to reduce micro-trauma and the risk of infection. The biggest difference between the two products, however, is that sea sponges are only approved for cosmetic purposes and soft tampons for personal hygiene. So, as a doctor, I wouldn't recommend using a product that isn't even certified safe for your insides! In comparison, soft tampons can offer you a comfortable and flexible route through your period.

Happy exploring!

Dr Elesha x

Read here the article about Dr. Elesha's work with sex workers.

Dr. Elesha Vooght
Elesha is a doctor and a total professional. She gives us insights into sex and periods. If anyone knows, it's her!