Sponges

You can use a sponge when you are having a period and working.

Each sponge is to be used once only.

It is important to remove the sponge after use. If you are unsure whether or not you have removed the sponge please call us or come to one of our clinics, or call NHS Direct for local services on 0845 46 47.

How to use a sponge?

Wash your hands before putting in or taking out the sponge Wash your hands before putting in or taking out the sponge.
The easiest way to insert the sponge is in standing position with one leg placed on a chair The easiest way to insert the sponge is in standing position with one leg placed on a chair. 
Place the middle finger in the centre of the flat side of the sponge.
Push the sponge into your vagina until it is in contact with your cervix which is at the top of your vagina Push the sponge into your vagina until it is in contact with your cervix which is at the top of your vagina.
You must not keep the sponge in for more than 8 hours You do not need to change the sponge between customers.
The sponge can be removed by using the index and the middle finger as tweezers The sponge can be removed by using the index and the middle finger as tweezers. If this is difficult you can squat while doing this. The depth of the vagina lessens this way.
If you are worried or feel unwell with fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, fainting, or a burning skin rash please attend emergency services straight away Using a sponge is like using a tampon. Very rarely women develop Toxic Shock Syndrome when using sponges or tampons. If you are worried or feel unwell with fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, fainting, or a burning skin rash please attend emergency services straight away.

We recommend that you change the sponge every 4-6hours unless you are having a very heavy period. You must not keep the sponge in for more than 8 hours.

What to do if a sponge becomes stuck ?

  • Don’t panic. Try to stay calm
  • Squatting down can help you to remove the sponge
  • Removing it when you feel more relaxed, maybe after a bath or shower
  • If you cannot get it out call us or go to a sexual health clinic, an NHS Walk in Centre or your GP where they will remove the sponge for you.

Please do not feel embarrassed as healthcare staff are trained to help if this happens.

We give out free sponges if we see you in our clinics or at your place of work. You can also buy them from Pasante.