Sea sponge tampons: concerns about pollutants in sea water? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-30-2014, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Sea sponge tampons: concerns about pollutants in sea water?

I'm looking in to switching to sea sponge tampons, but something someone posted here in another thread got me thinking. Should I be concerned about how polluted the oceans are that these sponges are coming from? I gut feeling is that if I'm not afraid to eat fish (I'm not), why should I be afraid of putting a sponge into my body that comes from the same waters. Especially when the alternative, disposable tampons, have so many other scary aspects to them.

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#2 of 6 Old 06-30-2014, 11:37 AM
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The arrival of sea sponge tampons in my life was also the arrival of yeast infections in my life.
I did not like them, I changed to a menstrual cup quickly afterwards and am now back on organic cotton tampons (with no applicators).

I really felt strongly about being natural and reducing waste, but I couldn't get rid of my yeast infections and had never had them before.
Now I haven't had a yeast infection in almost ten years, knock on wood.

I don't know anything about contaminants in our sea water affecting the sea sponges, but yeah, I wouldn't use them for reasons mentioned above.
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#3 of 6 Old 07-31-2014, 06:29 AM
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I was also looking at trying the sea sponges. The GladRags site says that they sanitize them with hydrogen peroxide.

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#4 of 6 Old 07-31-2014, 07:59 PM
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I've used a sea sponge for years. I love it. I would reccomend it to anyone.

I am not prone to yeast infections but I grew up with frequent UTIs. Sea sponges did not effect me negatively or positively in that regard but diet has.

I buy a big "beauty" sea sponge from whole foods and cut it down. To about half the size of my fist or a little smaller.

I tried boiling to sanitize and it shrunk the sponge a little but other than that was okay. I may have boiled it a tad longer than necessary to sanitize it though.

I don't work in a lab or anything but I am more afraid of the pollutants in my bath than I am of swimming at the beach and I still take a bath once a week. I don't sweat it.

The waste and the chemicals of disposable menstrual products make a sponge the lesser of the two evils IMO.

I would use a cup but I found them uncomfortable and they didn't last very long before I had to dump them on my heavy days. I tried the cups before I had a baby though so maybe I should give it a shot again? I'm just so happy with my sea sponge I can't talk myself into buying another cup and trying it again!
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#5 of 6 Old 08-01-2014, 05:49 AM
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Thank you, @sidrajedi . I found a website that has different ways to clean them:

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#6 of 6 Old 08-01-2014, 10:41 AM
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The sponge is a "lesser evil" than chlorine-bleached rayon disposable tampons, or even organic cotton disposable tampons, but it has greater environmental impact and health concerns than a reusable menstrual cup. I love my cup--read all about it here!

Another thing to consider is that sea sponges are animals. If you feel strongly about animal rights, or if you are squicked by the idea of putting a dead animal in your vagina, maybe you'd prefer another option.

Sanitizing with hydrogen peroxide is great for killing germs, but it may not remove chemicals that were floating around in the ocean. Still, the risk of any of those chemicals being anything dangerous enough and present in large enough quantities to affect your health probably isn't any higher than the risk when eating fish, as noted above. Toxic Shock Syndrome is probably more of a worry--the sponge can grow bacteria in the same way as tampons, and might be able to do it more effectively when reused. Menstrual cups are lower risk because they aren't absorbent.

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