The safety of pads & tampons are rarely, if ever, discussed among many in the health movement, which is truly sad given that on average a woman uses more than 12,000 tampons in her lifetime.
These products come in contact with the most absorbent part of a woman’s body. So, keeping toxic and synthetic ingredients away is good idea.
When My Eyes Were Opened…
Back in 2005, my gynecologist discovered a cyst on my ovary, which they eventually froze off. This was before I was into health, so I didn’t think much about it.
Fast forward to today – after studying much about the possible dangers of tampons and pads, I quickly began to put two-and-two together.
Could the tampons and pads be causing an issue with my female organs?
Well, I’ll let you be the judge of your own health, but I definitely had my own opinions as you’ll soon discover.
Here is why I made the switch to organic tampons (and other natural solutions) and haven’t looked back …. nor have I had any more issues involving my female organs since making the switch (fingers crossed)…
What’s Really in Those Pads & Tampons?… Prepare to be shocked…
Pads and tampons are one of the most convenient inventions for feminine hygiene products in modern times; however, now more than ever it’s crucial for us to know what we’re putting into our body. Knowledge is power.
About 90% of the cotton grown in the U.S. is genetically modified (GMO) according to the USDA.
Conventional cotton (non-organic) is considered by many to be the world’s “dirtiest” crop… Why? Because it is one of the highest sprayed (if not the highest) crops in the U.S.
5 of the top 9 pesticides used on cotton in the U.S. are classified by the EPA as a Category 1 & 2, which are the most dangerous. These pesticides have also been linked to cancer.
A recent discovery by a university has discovered that feminine hygiene products contain a chemical (glyphosate) found in Monsanto’s famous “Roundup” herbicide. This chemical has been classified as “probably carcinogenic.”
A statement released by Revolution News:
“Glyphosate was found in 85% of the products containing cotton bought in pharmacies and supermarkets including feminine care products like tampons and sanitary pads, sterile gauze pads, cotton swabs and wipes.”
I don’t know about you but “probably carcinogenic” is enough for me to take notice… this woman ain’t putting anything toxic in her private parts (said in my southern accent). But seriously… your health is nothing to gamble with!
Most pads and tampons are made of either non-organic cotton, rayon, or a combination of both. Many times synthetic fibers, such as viscose rayon, are added to increase absorbency.
Rayon is not a natural substance and is classified as a synthetic fiber due to the chemical process used to create it.
A few of the toxic chemicals used in the process of manufacturing rayon include carbon hydroxide, sulfuric acid, and carbon disulfide.
Carbon disulfide has been labeled as ‘very hazardous’ when used on a long-term basis inside the body… (can you say tampons?!).
Rayon absorbent fibers added to the tampon can stick to your vaginal wall (causing irritation) and some loose fibers may even be left behind when you remove the tampon potentially raising your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
If your pads and/or tampons are white and are non-organic, they’re most likely bleached with chlorine.
The bleaching process creates a by-product called dioxin which has been labeled as a toxic carcinogen (by the World Health Organization) and has been linked to ill-health.
This type of bleaching exposes women to low levels of dioxins every time they use these feminine hygiene products. Not to mention, these toxins get stored in our fat cells over time making it more difficult to maintain a healthy body long-term (this is why a detox is important).
Controversial Topic: Can exposure to dioxins lead to infertlity?
Dioxin is an endocrine disrupter, which in some cases can lead to infertility. For more info on this topic, please read HERE & HERE.
*Also, be aware of products labeled as ‘chlorine-free bleaching’ as some of these methods still contain chlorine dioxide.
Polyethylene & Polypropylene:
Both of these are thermoplastic polymers (plastics) and are potential skin irritants.
Not only that, but these plastics usually end up in landfills and can wreak havoc on our environment.
Why I ONLY Use Organic Feminine Hygiene Products… (and so should you)…
IMO, the only sure-fire way to avoid GMOs, chemicals, and plastics in your vagina is to use products made only from organic cottons or other organic materials.
This area on a woman is one of the most (if not THE MOST) absorbent part of a woman’s body, so I make sure to take extra precaution when it comes to my feminine hygiene products.
I’m sure we’ve only touched the surface of discovering the dangers of pads & tampons (to us & the environment)…. only time and continued research will tell the full story (as it is already beginning to do)…
Thankfully, there are some natural solutions on the market that I’m really excited to tell you about…
Natural Solutions to the Rescue…
Thank goodness for ethical companies that are dedicated to providing us with natural, healthy solutions that are also environmentally friendly.
Organic Pads & Tampons:
This is the brand I use… and I love them! I’ll be honest… if you have a heavy period, you may have to change out the tampon more frequently since it’s not quite as absorbent as a conventional tampon; however, it’s worth it knowing that I am putting a natural substance in my body. I can usually go 4-5 hours on a heavy day though!
What I Use:
I’ve never used a menstrual cup; however, many women love it! After doing a ton of research for this blog post and reading the reviews on menstrual cups, I’m convinced they work fabulously and will be trying one out soon! The biggest benefit seems to be the fact that it’s reusable. So, not only are you saving money, but you’re also saving the environment (double whammy)!
This seems to be the most popular menstrual cup…
*According to their website, the diva cup is made from healthcare grade silicone and is considered completely safe.
FYI: The safety of menstrual cups is controversial among health advocates. I wanted to mention them here as an alternative to conventional pads/tampons just to make you aware of your options. Personally, I stick to using organic tampons only.
If you’re a “pad girl” but are searching for a more comfy fit, cloth pads may suit you well. They’re a definite way to avoid chemicals and of course are re-usable. Here’s a great company for cloth pads…
Let me know what you think about this article… Have you already made the switch to a natural alternative for your feminine hygiene products? If so, have you noticed any benefits from it? Please share your experience below and feel free to add your advice or product recommendations…
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends… this is an issue everyone woman should be made aware of…
Hi Kayla! I JUST switched to linen pads. I do miss the security of a tampon/pad (I bleed heavily), but after my last two periods I developed a rash where pads were against my skin and then I found the site lifegivinglinen.com, they sell very good linen pads plus they give you the pattern, but it wouldn’t be that difficult to figure out on one’s own. This month I have NO irritation what-so-ever! And the protection is much better than what I thought it would be. There have been really great testimonials regarding linen. Anyway, I have made the switch after my negative experience with modern menstrual products. They may seem like they protect, but I’d rather have my health. And like I said these linen pads do protect well.
I found your site this morning for juicing advice too and I love it! Thanks so much! 🙂
Hey Jackie.. that’s great to hear regarding your rash situation! I’ll have to check into those linens you mentioned and possibly add them to my post. Thanks for the feedback 🙂
Thanks for sharing this Eloise.. I’ll definitely have to look into it and read your article.