It is always frustrating when something that is really convenient and time saving ends up being really unhealthy… like plastic water bottles or antibacterial hand sanitizer.
One glaring example is conventional tampons and pads. As we all know… everything is toxic these days and it sometimes seems like we have to be afraid of everything, but there are some really compelling reasons to avoid conventional feminine hygiene products and luckily there are some great alternatives.
Modern sanitary napkins or “pads” and tampons have definitely made feminine hygiene easier and more convenient, but everything comes with a price.
DID YOU KNOW..??
An average woman will use over 16,000 tampons or pads (up to 300 pounds!) in the course of her lifetime, sometimes even more.
A recent study found that 85% of tampons were contaminated with glyphosate (an herbicide linked to cancer) and that number was 100% when cotton gauze products were tested!
The labia and vaginal area is highly vascular, meaning that a lot of small blood vessels run to this area. The skin is also especially thin down there, making it easier for plastic chemicals to enter the body that way. Many pads and some tampons contain plastic chemicals and can even contain BPA .Not really what you want being absorbed into your blood stream from one of your body’s most sensitive areas (that also happens to be part of your reproductive system!).
Some of the harmful chemicals that can be found in sanitary napkins and tampons are:
- Dioxin: We have a tendency to assume that if the product is pure white, it is clean. However, the cotton that is received after harvesting, is usually cream in colour. The manufacturers of sanitary napkins use a chemical called dioxin to bleach the cotton. Dioxin is linked with the following side effects in the body: pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cancer, immune system damage, hormone dysfunction, impaired fertility, diabetes and impaired thyroid function.
- Rayon: Apart from cotton, rayon is yet another synthetic polymer that is added to these napkins to enhance the absorbing capacity. Rayon also has dioxin in it.
- Pesticides and Herbicides: These are the chemicals that are sprayed on the cotton crops. A chemical named furan stays on the cotton long after it has been harvested, which can cause harm. These have been linked with the following effects in the body: infertility, hormonal disruption, thyroid malfunction, diabetes, endometriosis and depression.
- Artificial Fragrances and Deodorant: These substances are added to the napkins during the manufacturing process. Although they can also enter the bloodstream, like in the cases of pesticides and dioxin, they can also have an effect locally on the vagina and in turn cause allergies and skin reactions.
- Toxic Shock Syndrome: Toxic shock syndrome is not caused by the chemicals discussed above, but rather from an overgrowth of staphylococcus aureus bacteria in the vagina which causes a release of toxins and poisonous substances into the bloodstream. These toxins can cause a sudden fall in blood pressure.Using sanitary napkins or tampons for prolonged periods can encourage the growth of the staphylococcus bacteria.
If you want to stick with the convenience of traditional tampons and pads, at least opt for natural and/or organic ones. These options are a win:win. They are made with natural materials so they are safer for use, and they reduce or eliminate waste and environmental chemicals as well.Organic cotton is the way to go for pads and tampons. We put clean, pesticide free, organic food in our body, why not in our hoo hoo? Also the organic cotton products don’t contain polyester, dyes, fragrances, or other synthetic ingredients found in regular sanitary products. Also organic cotton is better for mama earth!”
Since most Indian women have been accustomed to sanitary pads,you should be informed that most over-the-counter variants are coated with either disposable plastic or latex, which some women could be allergic to.
- Panty Liners:They’re meant for those irritating days of spotting, when you’re neither here nor there – the thinnest form of women sanitation available out there.
Nurture Buy TWO Get ONE 25% OFF on Chemical Free Panty Liners- Combo 2:Finally a product for all your needs. Each day you must feel secure, clean and healthy. A product to help you get through every day and every minute, naturally! In today’s day and age, we need a product that is super-absorbent, comfortable, hypo-allergenic (…coz we are all sensitive down there!) and its pretty. It also has Silver ion Chip that provides Anti-fungal and Anti- Bacterial action.Non-chlorine bleached, Perfume free.Adhesive layer for secure hold.Complete cotton cover to keep you dry, comfortable and rash free.
- Match The Medium Flow:Don’t think you’re saving money by stocking up on just one variety of napkins. If your fourth day isn’t as heavy as the second or third one, and a panty liner just wouldn’t suffice, ask your chemist for medium flow (or regular) napkins — they’re available both in winged and non-winged types.
The organization calls itself a women’s empowerment project. It promotes menstrual practices that are healthy, dignified, affordable and eco-positive.
This is a versatile pad sized between a night pad and a day pad it offers good protection for the first days of the period and lighter flow nights.
- Consider Washable Cloth Pads:Don’t go, “ewwww, gross!” just yet. They’re made out of organic cotton and have wings attached. While the really, really good ones last as many as 20 years, it’s entirely up to you how long you want to use them. The only “gross” part is that you have to wash them every day.
Eco Femme Night Pad (single): These washable cloth pads are made of absorbent cotton fabric and worn like disposable pads with press buttons that fasten under panties, to absorb menstrual flow. They need to be changed about as often as disposable pads. They can be washed and reused for 5 years or longer, with proper care. They are ideal for nights, heavy flow days and postpartum menstruation.
- Go Organic!:Yes, organic’s everywhere – quite literally. Though they’re not your pretty, thin ones, they’re made purely out of organic cotton – as opposed to the industrial cotton and absorbent gel in others – with just an absorbent strip for longer days. They are disposable, cost pretty much the same as your industrial ones and are available for light, regular and heavy flow. These are quite the saviour for those of us who’ve developed allergies to latex over the years.
- Sanitary pads for new Mom’s:After giving birth, you will have lochia, which is vaginal bleeding from the uterus lining shedding and it can last as short as two weeks or as long as six weeks.At this stage you have to take care of yourself as well as your baby. So why not adapt natural and organic products.
You are Precious.!!