Sponsored guest post by April of The Sea Sponge Company
Note from Erin:
I am always happy to introduce you all to and recommend natural alternatives to personal care products, as I believe many conventional products, such as pads and tampons, can be dangerous! I am excited to host April today, who will be educating us on sea sponge tampons!
The Sea Sponge Company™ is a small business founded by a wife and mother who wanted to find a better natural feminine hygiene alternative for herself and other women. Here’s her story of how she discovered sea sponges and started a business marketing Sea Clouds™ Sea Sponge Tampons.
From the time I got my first period at 11 until after college, all I knew about and used were standard disposable pads and tampons. I never liked them and always dreaded my period, but the life of a girl is supposed to be miserable for at least five days out of every month…right?
Pads were messy and noisy and sometimes leaked around the edges. Tampons leaked at the beginning, dried me out towards the end, and trickled down the string. Both pads and tampons irritated my skin, made me feel grungy, and exposed the intimate details of my life with their loud wrappers and unavoidable trail of trash next to every toilet I used.
My husband also disliked traditional tampons and pads – with reasons that were even more vital than mine. See, he’s the kind of guy that likes to research absolutely anything that concerns our family’s health, and he had heard about toxic shock syndrome (TSS), cervical cancer, fertility issues, and other health risks associated with the chemicals and synthetic materials used in popular feminine hygiene products. And I’ll never forget the look on his face as he read to me from a stack of printouts that men whose partners use traditional tampons are put at greater risk for prostate cancer and a decrease in male fertility. Needless to say, he was concerned for our health, and he was the one that gave me the encouragement I needed to explore other options.
As I began my own research, my eyes were opened to a new world of reusable feminine hygiene products, a foreign concept in modern Western culture and certainly a foreign concept to me! At first, I was fascinated but also a bit repulsed. Wouldn’t it be gross to have to launder cloth pads or rinse out a menstrual cup or sea sponge tampon?
Nevertheless, I took the plunge and started to experiment with reusable menstrual products. Thanks to my tilted cervix, I found reusable cups uncomfortable. And unfortunately, since I never enjoyed “free flow” with disposable pads, the cloth pads were equally unenjoyable for that reason. At least they were soft and chemical-free, though.
After I spent a few months testing out different products, a fellow mom finally convinced me to try natural sea sponge tampons. And at that moment – I kid you not – my female world was literally revolutionized overnight!
Here are 12 reasons why I have become a sea sponge tampon user for life…
1. Sea sponge tampons are completely natural.
Sea sponges grow like plants on the ocean floor and are sustainably harvested by hand. They are very absorbent on their own, so there’s no need to add synthetic fibers like you find in disposable “cotton” products.
2. Sea sponge tampons are healthier.
Did you know your skin actually absorbs the chemicals you put on it? Especially in sensitive areas like the vagina, chemicals like those found in disposable feminine hygiene products – chlorine, dioxin, and pesticides, which contribute to a host of health risks, increased bleeding, and PMS symptoms – get rapidly absorbed directly into your bloodstream. Not only that, but the synthetic fibers used to make “cotton” tampons more absorbent are known to cause micro-tears in the skin to further facilitate the absorption of chemicals and bacteria. Hello, TSS!
Sea sponges, on the other hand, are free of chemicals and synthetic fibers. They are gentle on the skin and even contain naturally occurring enzymes that inhibit bacteria and mold. In addition, they have healthy sea minerals that your body loves and needs, such as sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and so much more.
I personally noticed a decrease in bleeding and cramping after switching to sea sponge tampons, and I can’t help but think this exchange of chemicals for minerals had to play a part in that benefit!
3. Sea sponge tampons are very easy to use!
Simply moisten with water to soften them, squeeze out the excess water, and push them in. Once they get full, remove to rinse and reinsert. Sea Sponge Tampons come with basic cleaning instructions, which you can easily do whenever you take a shower.
4. Premium sea sponge tampons are extremely comfortable.
They come from the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea and are super soft, textured much like the vaginal wall. Once inserted, the sponges are completely unnoticeable.
5. Sea sponge tampons are sanitary.
Traditional tampons and pads are NOT considered sterile. They are bleached to create a clean, white look yet are still exposed to bacteria in non-sterile factories and wrapped in non-sterile packaging. And there’s nothing you can do to clean them before use.
However, sea sponges can be sanitized before use by soaking in simple, natural cleaning agents such as tea tree oil or hydrogen peroxide to ensure that what you’re putting inside is truly sanitary and bacteria-free.
6. Sea sponge tampons are less messy.
When my tampon is full, I quickly rinse it and my hands with clean water and reinsert. No mess left on me or in my waste basket. No mess anywhere. I love this!
7. Because sea sponge tampons are inserted after being softened with water, they are totally nondrying.
Unlike dry cotton, they go in and out easily, without pain and scratching, even when used at times that I’m not on my period. This is wonderful when you think it could be getting close to your time of the month and want to use something comfortable and discrete for unexpected leakage protection.
8. Sea sponge tampons can be comfortably and effectively worn to stay clean during intercourse.
They’re soft and textured like the vaginal wall and are super absorbent. On that note, some women even choose to use sea sponges as a barrier contraceptive aid, with or without spermicide. Talk about a versatile, multi-use menstrual product!
9. Sea sponge tampons can be used as a vaginal hygiene treatment aid.
I love using Sea Naturals™ Vaginal Hygiene Suppositories with my sea sponge tampon. At the end of my period, I insert a suppository and then insert my sponge. It works wonderfully for hygiene maintenance and as an overnight treatment for vaginal odors, irritations, and infections.
10. Sea sponge tampons save money usually spent on disposables.
A package of sea sponge tampons can be purchased for less than the cost of a nice dinner and are reusable for 3-6 months or more with proper care.
11. Sea sponge tampons protect your privacy.
No one needs to know it’s your time of the month. There’s no loud wrappers and no trail of trash. Not even my husband notices when I’m on my period unless I tell him.
12. Sea sponge tampons are kind to the earth.
Sea sponges have remarkable regenerative capabilities. Upon harvesting, the tops of sea sponges are cut off. This leaves the bottom portion attached to the ocean floor to regrow even fuller and healthier than before.
And did you know that about 20 billion pads, tampons, and applicators are sent to North American landfills annually? Sponges are reusable and biodegradable. So, I can do my part to care for the earth by not adding to the used, non-degradable feminine care products buried in our soil and leaching chemicals into our environment.
I’ve “ditched the disposables” for good, because – quite simply – reusable sea sponge tampons are awesome! Consider giving them a try yourself, and let us know what you think.
Sea Sponge Tampons can be purchased here.
Disclaimer: Please seek the advice of your trusted healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health. We are not doctors or trained medical professionals. This blog is for entertainment and informational purposes only.
Just placed an order! Sounds weird that I am looking forward to getting this package in the mail!
Thank you for ordering! We are excited for you to try them out too!
Shoving a large round sponge up there doesn’t sound like fun or easy for that matter. Then there’s the price. $20 for 2 that last 3-6 months. Well I probably spend that in about 4 using regular tampons so I can’t say price would be a factor. But all considered I’m still interested. We’ll see when I get that much extra cash.
There are actually 5 different sizes of sea sponge tampons offered by The Sea Sponge Company…mini, light, regular, super, and ultra to ensure there’s a comfortable fit for everyone! The minis and lights are very small, so a great option if a large sponge seems daunting or unnecessary. 🙂 They are inserted moistened and are super soft, so they generally glide in effortlessly and are completely unnoticeable once they’re in.
If extra lubrication is needed to make it even easier, you can simply put a few drops of oil (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, or other natural oil) on the sponge.
As for how long they last, a single sponge is guaranteed at least 3 months by The Sea Sponge Company, and a pack of 2 lasts at least 6 months, though they often last longer than that!
I bought a seasponge for makeup for around $7 and I’ve been using it as a tampon for years.
Very interesting but I have questions. What do you do if you are away from home, like at the mall, and need to rinse??? Not exactly something you want to do in a public bathroom in sinks infront of other people. How do you know how often to rinse? Is it every so many hours like conventional? Do they also leak when need to be rinsed therefore still have to use pantyliners? Seems the whole rinsing process would be messy and awkward. You’d have to be in the shower or right next to the sink or then you’d have to worry about a possible accident while rinsing. I’d love to try but Id like to find out opinions on this.
Great questions! Almost all of your questions and more can be answered by visiting this link:
How often sea sponge tampons need to be rinsed depends on 1) how heavy your flow is and 2) how big your sponge is. If you typically have a moderate flow and use a “Regular” size sea sponge tampon, you’ll probably rinse every 3-4 hours on a heavy day and maybe twice a day on a light day. My sponge tampons never leak on me, and so I do not use pads or liners during the day or at night time. But I’ve also been using sponges a while and have gotten comfortable with knowing how often I have to rinse. You’ll feel when the sponge starts to get full and needs to be rinsed, but it would be a good idea to use some kind of liner or pad while you’re first getting used to the tampons and figuring out how often you personally need to rinse them out.
While in public some women choose to take a water bottle in their purse to rinse the sponge over the toilet. Others prefer to use a small wet bag (you can find cute ones on Etsy by searching “reusable snack bag”) or ziploc bag to store the sponges and rinse them out when they get home. In that instance, you just insert a clean sponge after storing the used one in a bag.
Hope some of that helps! Again, the link has even more information, and you can also contact The Sea Sponge Company with questions!
I have the same question as AJ. I am also wondering if removing is ever difficult without the string? I have a terrible time with traditional products so this is fascinationg.
Ideally, if you’re pushing the sea sponge tampon in within your reach, you will not have a problem getting it back out. I’ve never personally had a problem with reaching mine. But there are some tips here to help with retrieving a sponge that gets pushed back out of reach (such as in cases where it was used during intercourse) – seaspongecompany.com/seaspongetampons101 If it’s a concern, you can also start out with threading dental floss through the center of a sponge, tying a loop, and using that as your tampon string. Just be sure to tug gently on the “string” until you can reach the sponge with your fingers to prevent tearing the sponge.
I’ve been using sea clouds tampons and love them! I will never go back to traditional tampons. After having 5 kids they are so much more comfortable!! They are a great company!
Thank you, Missy, and we’re so glad you’re loving your sea sponge tampons!
Although I have had hysterectomy 10 years ago, so I wouldn’t really need these…I have Tween age Daughter that will be coming into the wonderful years of being a woman anytime now. I have been researching different products because of her. I had a lot of problems using tampons, and I don’t want her to have to deal with any of it.
It’s wonderful that you’re searching for healthier options for your daughter! The “mini” sized Sea Clouds™ tampons are perfect for tweens and teens.
Thank you for the informative post! I have to admit that you make me very excited to order from them, haha! 😛 One small question, would you consider it healthy to replace pads with the sea sponge tampons? Or is it better to only use the sea sponge in lieu of a tampon? I’ve heard that it was better to use pads when convenient, but reusable pads are such a pain to deal with! I would truly like to only use sea sponge tampons at all times, if it’s safe.
Sea Clouds™ sea sponge tampons are expertly cleaned and free of harmful chemicals, and instructions are provided with every package of tampons to help you keep them sanitized and bacteria-free as well. As long as you follow the instructions, they are a very safe, natural alternative to tampons and pads. I use only the sponges and haven’t purchased disposable pads or tampons for menstruation in years!
I didn’t see this on the website, but I’m wondering if there is a size guide other than in inches. I know that every woman is different, but some of the cup manufacturers suggest sizes based on…life experience. Teen, post partum, etc. I think that might be helpful here too.
Yes! In the product description for the sea sponge tampons is a section on “Recommended Sizing.” Here’s what it says:
“Recommended Sizing: Mini tampons are great for teens or super light flow. Use Light or Regular tampons with our vaginal hygiene suppositories or for light to moderate flow. Use Regular or Super during intercourse or for moderate to heavy flow. Finally, Ultra tampons are for very heavy flow, and some women even choose to use them for prolapse support.”
If not sure which size to go with, a 3-pack is a great way to test out the three most popular sizes. Light, Regular, and Super are all fine for both women who have given birth and women who have never given birth. They can also be trimmed down to create a more custom fit if they feel too large or uncomfortable after insertion.
The size guides on cups can be misleading or confusing, too. A young virgin can still be “bigger” than a mother, and muscle tone has a lot of effect, too. Also, one manufacturer’s “large” may be narrower and/or shorter than another’s “small.” I’m guessing sponges are kind of the same way, with your very first try being “experimental” with the bonus of being able to trim the thing. I’ve been using a cup for a year, and love it, but am still wanting to experiment with other options. I think using the sponge for “intimate times” sounds intriguing.
I think these may be just what I’ve been looking for! I’ve tried a couple different menstrual cups… and want *so* badly to love them… but I guess due to my unique shape? sometimes it works fine and other times not so much… so I always use pantiliners which kind of negates the “no disposables” thing. And sometimes for convenience, especially when I am away from home, I use o.b. tampons, which are better than most because there is no applicator, but still not great.
I’m definitely intrigued by these sponge tampons! They don’t last as long as a cup, but 3 months is still a long time! And the price still works out cheaper than buying disposables every month, especially if I can quit using pantiliners along with. My fingers are crossed for the giveaway, then these will probably be on my shopping list soon!
I love sea sponge tampons and sea cloud are the ones I use!! They are great! I’ve had 5 natural births and traditional tampons were no longer comfortable for me! I am so thankful I came across these!! I totally recommend them for comfort, safety,cost affectiveness and over all health!
Heather @ My Overflowing Cup
Thanks so much for sharing this, Erin and April. I am always looking for healthier alternatives, but I’ve never heard of these. Thanks so much for the chance to win and try them out.
I had never heard of sea sponge tampons until this blog. This particular post has me interested in them. I have to admit though, the whole rinsing part seems kind of gross and inconvenient. Then again, when is changing a disposable pad or tampon neat and convenient? I’m especially considering trying them out because I’m getting married in a couple months, and even though I tried to plan things well, it looks like I’ll be on my period throughout most of our honeymoon 🙁 Hopefully, these tampons will make that less of an inconvenience 🙂
Christin, CONGRATULATIONS! That is very exciting…although not fun to be having your period on your honeymoon. But that is absolutely one of my favorite things about the sponges is they allow you to enjoy your life without your period getting in the way! Just be sure to rinse them out before intercourse and you’re good to go! You’ll definitely want to use them before the honeymoon, though, to get comfortable with inserting and removing. I would recommend a Regular size for that purpose. A Light can be a challenge to reach afterwards, but a Super makes things pretty tight (totally fine if you’re like me and have had multiple vaginal births, but probably a bit too tight if you haven’t). 😉
I only use pads because I pee a lot and was told you have to insert a new tampon every time you pee. That would be an insane amount of tampons! Do you have to take the sea sponge tampon out every time you pee? I looked on the website & didn’t see anything about that. Also I’ve only ever used tampons one time so maybe I’m miss informed. Tampons overall just baffle me.
Nope, you do not have to remove sea sponge tampons every time you pee! I generally will rinse mine every time I use the restroom, just because it’s easy to do with the sink right beside me and then they never get very full. But if your sponge is fully inserted and a comfortable fit, you should not have a problem with pee getting on it. A tip if this is an issue is to lean forward while peeing to help it go into the toilet instead of all over you. 🙂
My concern woul dlie with public bathrooms…there really is no easy and safe way to remove and go wash in a public sink . Id be not ok with people walking aorund the bathroom IM in blood stuff.. How does that work?
There are a couple easy solutions for dealing with your tampons while in public. 1) You can have a water bottle handy in your purse, and whenever it’s time to rinse the sponge, just use the water bottle to rinse it over the toilet. No one needs to see or know. 🙂 2) Or use a small wet bag to store the used sponge until you can rinse it at home and insert a clean sponge. There are a ton of really cute, wacky, beautiful, or whatever style you’re into wet bags on Etsy that are perfect for this! You can find them by browsing the “reusable snack bags.” Just make sure they have the waterproof inner lining. https://www.etsy.com/search?q=reusable%20snack%20bag
You can also just go to the family bathroom which is a single toilet and sink in a private restroom.
How well do these work when swimming/ doing water sports?? Comparable, better, or worse than regular tampons? I have to admit I am excited to try these out!
Sea sponge tampons can absolutely be worn while swimming! They’re pretty comparable to regular tampons in that regard. Just be sure to disinfect them after swimming in rivers and lakes.
So who won the giveaway? I can’t seem to find the winner posted any where.
It should be posted on the widget.
LOVE my sea sponge tampons for so many reasons.
1- SOOOO comfortable. No pulling dry tampons out.
2- Natural product with no chemicals in my vagina.
3- Virtually ZERO menstrual cramps anymore.
4- No longer contributing to landfills with used menstrual products.
5- No running to the store to buy menstrual products every month.
6- Since they’re reusable, I save MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!!
7- Going back to comfortable…the sponges conform PERFECTLY to MY body.
8- Since the conform perfectly to MY body, NO leaks.
9- In addition to ZERO cramps, lighter periods.
10- Very easy to use in public and one little pouch to carry in my purse.
11- Easy to pop in and out while in the shower.
12- No more possible morning surprises. I can put one in the night before I’m set to start without causing problems.
13- SUPER easy to clean. Soak for a while in warm water and tea tree oil, rinse and air dry.
14- No TSS worries.
15- I can keep the sponge in for many hours and can even use the bathroom without having to do anything with the sponge.
My only regret with the sea sponge company tampons is that I didn’t find them sooner. I’ve used sponges from other companies but have had the best product and customer service experience with the sea sponge company. I’ve also read that you can use the sponges with spermicide as a contraceptive. I haven’t done so but can see the appeal.
I’ve also tried menstrual cups with no success…..just disastrous and uncomfortable.
I absolutely love these sponges and will NEVER go back to conventional menstrual products.
Thanks for this very thorough review, Amy!!
I started using one today and it is comfortable, I do not think I will be going back to tampons ever again. I cannot even feel it inside me, followed the instructions and I had a great day so far, absolutely loving them
I use a moon cup and my only problem is public restrooms with public sinks— what’s the best solution for this? And how do you know sponge is full?
I am so glad I came across this! I thought I’d be stuck using traditional products, but now I am so glad that I won’t! I have only used tampons a few times, due to the fear of getting TSS. I’ve always found pads a bit awkward, as I am a frequent skinny jeans wearer and I am always worrying about whether it is obvious that I am wearing a pad. One thing I would be a bit worried about would be removing it, but I’m sure it would be simple if I start using these.
Do you know when the Sea Clouds will be back in stock? (Today is 9/10/15) I emailed the company and haven’t heard back yet and I REALLY want to try these out! The Sea Sponge Company website directed me to Amazon, but those are Jade and Pearl brand and the Sea Clouds look like they are sized better. Thanks! 🙂
I think sea sponge tampons are a good option, but menstrual cups are even better. They’re far less messy I think, and you only need one which can last you for years.
Hi, on one’s heaviest day (for a girl with med to heavy flow) about how long can you keep it in. I’m just thinking of days when I’m away from home all day & on my period.
without the privacy & only having access to public restrooms with lots of stalls & people. So I wouldn’t be able to wash my sponge for the entire day. (A continuation of my last post)
Trying mine out for the first time today. I love it. Cannot feel it at all, i’ve done the removal rinse and reinsert. No problem whatsoever, in fact as it’s the first day and it’s a light flow, tampons usually hurt a lot when being pulled out at this stage so I was very happy with the sea sponge not being all dry and scratchy, there was also no need to add a string as it was easy to pinch and pull out. I’ve been on my exercise bike and there were no leaks (I will try this again on a heavier day too). I highly recommend these little things!
Are they suitable if you have a really heavy flow with clots and prolapse?
I’m not really sure, Dina. I’m sorry! 🙁
Hello. I’m curious as if there is any info in regards to the toxic syndrome info. Is there a higher risk with using these as there is with using regular tampons especially for womem with heavy flows?
I’m sorry but I don’t personally know. It sounds like a great topic to research!
I love the idea of sea sponges! How many hours can they be safely left in?
This was a guest post. I would contact the company.