Most pads and tampons are loaded with chemicals, making them unsafe for long-term use. You may be wondering how exposure to the small amounts of chemicals in your pads or tampons could possibly affect you considering you wear them only for a few days every month. Think about how the little monthly exposure adds up to a fair amount over the many years you wear feminine hygiene products.
Vaginal skin is extremely absorbent. So, every time you wear feminine hygiene products, any chemicals in them are bound to be absorbed by the layers of skin in your vagina and then delivered to the rest of your body. So, the longer you’re exposed to the harmful chemicals in these products, the higher are your chances of having long-term health problems.
Here are 6 chemicals in feminine hygiene products that may make you want to stop using them.
6 Harmful Chemicals In Feminine Hygiene Products
You’re sure to have noticed that your tampons and pads are almost always white. Ever wondered what makes them look that way? Chlorine, which is a bleaching agent, is the reason for the white color. When feminine hygiene products are bleached with chlorine, chemicals called dioxins are produced. These dioxins have been found to collect in fatty tissues over time. And exposure to them in even the smallest amounts may contribute to abnormal tissue and cell growth, suppressed immunity, and disrupted hormonal function.1
Cotton is highly absorbent. And that is what makes it popular as a lining for pads and tampons. While this is the case, its crops are treated with a herbicide called glyphosate, which is a toxic chemical. And thanks to its absorbent property, cotton tends to absorb high amounts of glyphosate. So, when you wear a
Tampons are usually lined with either cotton or rayon. And rayon, which is made from wood pulp or cotton, is quite closely associated with a life-threatening condition called toxic shock syndrome. This condition is accompanied by symptoms like sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rashes, and redness in the eyes, mouth, and/or throat.2 So, avoid wearing tampons with rayon to steer clear of the toxic shock syndrome.
This element is another by-product of the manufacturing and bleaching
Phthalates give feminine hygiene products their smooth finish. They are said to affect gene regulation in the body. Gene regulation is the process by which cells increase or decrease the production of protein or RNA.
6. Synthetic Fragrances
Similar to cosmetics, feminine hygiene products are also loaded with synthetic fragrances to mask off any odor. These fragrances, in turn, contain a number of harmful chemicals that may cause hormone disruption and even cancer.
Now that you know the extent to which you’re exposed
Here are 4 safe alternatives to regular feminine hygiene products you can try.
4 Safe Alternatives To Regular Feminine Hygiene Products
1. Organic, Disposable Tampons And Pads
Similar to the non-organic ones, there are plenty of organic tampons and pads available in the market. These are also disposable and hence easy to use. They are usually made from cotton that isn’t bleached and hence free from toxic chemicals. They’re also available in different sizes and thicknesses and are just as effective as the non-organic alternatives.
2. Reusable Pads
Reusable pads are made of pure cotton, so they’re great absorbers. They’re designed in such a way that they can be washed and used for a number of cycles without any hassles. You can clean them by simply soaking them in a tub of disinfectant solution during your cycle. Then, wash them well at the end of the cycle. If you tend to feel icky, you could wash them more often. Reusable pads are quite comfortable and also have a waterproof lining that prevents leakage of any sort.
3. Menstrual Cups
If you’re not keen on dealing with the labor involved in washing your pads, you could try menstrual cups. They’re a better option than tampons because they don’t absorb but collect, preventing exposure to harmful chemicals. Menstrual cups are available in different
4. Period Panties
These are specially designed panties and are meant to be worn during your period. While some work on their own, some are meant to be used along with pads or cups. They are made of materials that absorb extremely well, preventing leakage of any sort.
While these may be more expensive than the regular pads and tampons, it’s better to spend a little more now than experience the long-term health problems caused by the non-organic varieties.