The Use of "Natural" Substances for Menstrual Hygiene: A Case Report of an Embedded Vaginal Sea Sponge

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2022 Sep 23;S1083-3188(22)00294-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2022.09.006. Online ahead of print.


Background: In early adolescence, irregular menstrual bleeding patterns are common and are frequently due to anovulatory cycles or bleeding disorders. As such, the diagnosis of a vaginal foreign body might initially be missed.

Case: We describe a 14-year-old adolescent female presenting with ongoing irregular menstrual spotting despite reassuring laboratory workup and ultrasonography. She was found to have an embedded vaginal sea sponge eroding through the vaginal wall. On further discussion, she reported using a natural sea sponge for menstrual blood absorption.

Summary and conclusion: In cases of persistent vaginal spotting, vaginal foreign body should be considered in the differential diagnosis. Use of nontraditional menstrual hygiene products could lead to medical complications and negative health outcomes in adolescents.

Keywords: Foreign body; Natural menstrual products; Sea sponge; Vaginal bleeding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports