Description: The sea sponge is used in the same way as a tampon, but is reusable by simply removing the sponge, rinsing carefully, and reinserting. It should be sterilized at the end of each menstrual cycle. In the ocean, sea sponges may appear to be plants, but they are actually simple multi-cellular sea creatures. Sea sponges are harvested from the ocean floor and are most often sterilized with hydrogen peroxide. As sponges are harvested, millions of egg and sperm cells are released into surrounding water, which makes the sponge a renewable resource. Sea sponges are very economically priced and should last at least six months. Additionally, sea sponges may be easily trimmed in order to perfectly fit each individual.

What to look for: Look for sea sponges that have been sustainably cultivated and have not been bleached with any harsh chemicals.

Uses: Sea sponges are soft, malleable, and naturally very absorbent. The sea sponge needs to be moistened before it is inserted into the vagina, and should be washed and reinserted as dictated by menstrual flow. In general, the sponge needs to be rinsed slightly more frequently than one would change tampons. Sea sponges may be disinfected in between periods by soaking in vinegar, diluted hydrogen peroxide (which will also bleach them naturally), or boiling before and after each cycle; air dry.

Where to find: Find sea sponges at natural food stores or order directly from individual companies.

Avoid: Avoid any sea sponge made of synthetic material.