It’s at all times irritating when one thing that’s actually handy and time-saving finally ends up being actually unhealthy… like plastic water bottles or antibacterial hand sanitizer.
One obtrusive instance of this I’ve been researching currently is typical tampons and pads. I do know, I do know… every thing is poisonous today and it typically looks as if we’ve to be afraid of every thing, however there are some actually compelling causes to keep away from typical female hygiene merchandise.
Fortunately, there are some nice time- and money-saving alternate options.
The Drawback With Pads
Fashionable sanitary napkins or “pads” and tampons have positively made female hygiene simpler and extra handy, however every thing comes with a value.
From an environmental perspective, an amazing quantity of those merchandise find yourself in landfills and water remedy services. A mean lady will use over 16,00zero tampons or pads (as much as 300 kilos!) in the midst of her lifetime, typically extra.
Most of those merchandise comprise plastics, which are problematic in their own right and take a long time to break down. In addition they comprise particular chemical substances and elements that make them capable of take up 10x their weight in liquid. These chemical substances haven’t been comprehensively studied for his or her impact on the setting, nevertheless.
I’ve written earlier than in regards to the dangers of plastic exposure, and we regularly don’t take into consideration how issues like pads could be a main supply of plastic publicity.
The labia and vaginal space is extremely vascular, that means that loads of small blood vessels run to this space. The pores and skin can also be particularly skinny down there, making it simpler for plastic chemical substances to enter the physique that approach. Many pads and a few tampons comprise plastic chemical substances and may even comprise BPA and different plastic chemical substances. From this article:
For instance, plasticizing chemical substances like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic growth and are linked to coronary heart illness and most cancers. Phthalates — which give paper tampon applicators that easy really feel and end — are recognized to dysregulate gene expression, and DEHP might result in a number of organ injury. Moreover crude oil plastics, typical sanitary pads can even comprise a myriad of different doubtlessly hazardous elements, equivalent to odor neutralizers and fragrances. Synthetics and plastic additionally prohibit the free movement of air and may lure warmth and dampness, doubtlessly selling the expansion of yeast and micro organism in your vaginal space.
Cotton or Not: Each Can Be a Drawback
From watching commercials, you’d assume that each one tampons and pads are made up of completely smooth pillowy cotton from pristine white fields. Sadly, this isn’t often the case.
Some tampons and pads do comprise cotton, however most comprise rayon, an artificial materials. There’s some proof that artificial fibers can pull an excessive amount of moisture from the vaginal partitions and persist with the smooth pores and skin there, leaving tiny artificial fibers which will improve the chance of TSS, Poisonous Shock Syndrome.
The tampons and pads which might be really made from cotton are often bleached with chlorine (problematic on its own) or different chemical substances.
Moreover, cotton is without doubt one of the world’s dirtiest crops and is commonly sprayed with quite a lot of pesticides. The Rodale Institute experiences:
- Cotton is taken into account the world’s dirtiest crop attributable to its heavy use of pesticides. Aldicarb, cotton’s second best-selling insecticide and most acutely toxic to people and wildlife, continues to be utilized in 25 nations, together with the U.S., the place 16 states reported it of their groundwater. Worldwide, cotton covers 2.5% of the cultivated land and cotton growers use 16% of the world’s pesticides.
- Eight of the highest 10 pesticides mostly used on U.S. conventionally produced cotton had been categorized as reasonably to extremely hazardous by the World Well being Group. The Environmental Justice Basis elaborates extra on the world huge unfavorable results of pesticide use in cotton.
- Cotton (83%) is without doubt one of the prime 4 GMO crops produced on this planet which incorporates soy (89%), canola (75%) and corn (61%). GMO cotton manufacturing ranks ninth in world crop manufacturing.
- On a median, 90 % of U.S. cotton in 2010 was genetically engineered, in response to a USDA survey. Nonetheless 95 to 98% of all cotton is now genetically engineered in 9 of the eleven cotton producing states surveyed.
On prime of that, a 2015 study found that 85% of tampons had been contaminated with glyphosate (an herbicide linked to most cancers) and that quantity was 100% when cotton gauze merchandise had been examined!
Not likely what you need being absorbed into your blood stream from one in all your physique’s most delicate areas (that additionally occurs to be a part of your reproductive system!).
Poisonous Shock Syndrome (TSS)
After I was a youngster, I learn the warning labels in my tampon field one time and was scared to make use of tampons for months. Although uncommon, Poisonous Shock Syndrome (or TSS) is a life-threatening an infection that may happen, particularly with tampon use.
Present theories recommend that the Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) micro organism trigger the TSS an infection and that sporting a tampon (with its tough floor) at nighttime, heat, and moist setting of the vagina can improve the possibilities of this an infection.
In fact, this isn’t a threat with sanitary napkins, however they’ve their very own dangers and issues (plastics, chemical substances, artificial fibers, and so on).
Should you do use tampons of any sort, just remember to are conscious of the signs of TSS and act shortly in the event you ever suspect you might have it.
I think we are going to proceed to seek out out an increasing number of in regards to the significance of avoiding chemical substances in female hygiene merchandise, however there are some nice choices already out there.
These choices are a win-win. They’re made with pure supplies so they’re safer to be used, and so they scale back or remove waste and environmental chemical substances as nicely.
Natural/Pure Pads and Tampons
If you wish to keep on with the comfort of conventional tampons and pads, at the very least go for pure and/or natural ones. These have develop into way more broadly out there currently and are about the identical value as common choices in lots of instances. My favourite is Rael brand, that are made from 100% natural cotton.
I’ll admit, it took me a very long time to work as much as this selection and now I really feel foolish for taking so lengthy to make the swap. To be truthful, I used to be so busy having infants that I didn’t have many alternatives to attempt them, however now that I’ve… I’m a convert!
A menstrual cup is precisely what it feels like — a reusable soft-sided cup that matches contained in the vagina to gather menstrual movement. It’s reusable, leak-proof (in my expertise), and way more snug than common tampons. They don’t carry the chance of TSS that tampons do and might be safely worn for as much as 24 hours.
Sure, it takes some experimenting to get used to utilizing a menstrual cup, however when you get used to it, it’s so a lot simpler. I get into all the small print (sure, all of them) in this post.
The place to get them:
I used the Diva Cup for years. It comes with two choices: Size 1 for pre-childbirth and Size 2 for post-childbirth (vaginal or c-section) or for ladies over 30. Final yr, I had to purchase one other menstrual cup after I forgot to deliver the Diva cup whereas touring and ended up with the Luna Cup, which I really want to the Diva Cup now. Each of those choices are medical-grade silicone and thought of utterly secure.
Should you’re not sure in regards to the menstrual cup concept, reusable pads are one other nice possibility. They’re extra snug than plastic-based pads and have a water-proof liner so that they don’t leak by means of onto clothes.
Many work even higher than disposable choices. The one draw back is that you simply do have to clean them, however I’ve discovered that this can be a minimal inconvenience to keep away from chemical substances and maintain plastics out of the landfill.
The place to get them:
My favorites are these handmade cloth menstrual pads from a local family-owned business (they’ll ship them worldwide!)
I often simply use the Diva cup, however one other nice possibility is a sea sponge. I don’t assume I’ve completely gotten the grasp of them, however they do work nicely and are simple to make use of just like the Diva Cup. If the menstrual cup is uncomfortable for you, they is perhaps value a shot. I got mine from here.
Do They Work?
I knew I felt higher and liked the comfort of the pure choices (particularly the Luna cup and material pads) however I used to be amazed by a number of the issues individuals stated on Fb after I posted this:
- “I’ve polycystic ovarian syndrome and my intervals have at all times been unpredictable. I made a decision to make the swap to material pads and I’m so glad that I did. Inside just some months I started to have common cycles. I used to have heavy bleeding and extreme cramps/horrible stabbing pains. I’ve been pain-free and common for Eight months now. I’ll by no means return to chemical-ridden disposable merchandise once more.”
- “I switched to pure care merchandise and in addition use glad rags as liners. Made the swap 2 yrs in the past after I was recognized with reproductive points and have by no means appeared again. I really feel higher too. Agency believer that this impacts girls greater than we understand.”
- “I take advantage of the Diva cup, and I undergo from ovarian cysts that rupture each month. Earlier than switching to Diva, I may very well be utilizing the worlds largest diaper pad and STILL really feel the “gush” whereas sitting in the midst of the restaurant and have to determine the way to save my dignity. The Diva cup has been a lifesaver!! I can exit in public with out fear, AND I can sleep by means of the night time with out fear.”
- “I don’t have an especially heavy movement prefer it sounds you do however my first beginning day is my worst day. I’ve been utilizing the diva cup happening two years and I’ll by no means return to pads or tampons. I do have a historical past or extraordinarily dangerous cramps (puking, chilly sweats, move out from exhaustion) and ovarian cysts however since utilizing the diva cup my interval has minimize down from 7-Eight days to Three-5 days and my cramps are half of what they was. I nonetheless get the cramps however I take advantage of a heating pad and I can at the very least perform that day…. It took me about Three-Four occasions utilizing it to really feel 100% assured that after I put it in it wasn’t going to leak. I’m certain I’m not the one one which was consistently working to the toilet to test!”
- “Love, love, love my diva cup! Switched about Three years in the past & solely want I’d recognized sooner. Went from bleeding by means of a brilliant plus tampon in 20 minutes on my heavy day to simply having to empty my diva cup morning and night time and solely as soon as a day the remainder of my cycle.”
- “Stream went from heavy right down to most likely lower than regular? Cycle went from a full 7 days to three or Four days with solely 2 being in any respect heavy. And all however stopped at night time. (don’t even want the cup at night time) A lot much less cramps and discomfort usually. I had accomplished a LOT of hormone work the yr or so previous to beginning to use it, so I’m certain that was a part of issues, however deff noticed some massive modifications after utilizing it for a number of months. It takes some getting used to and a few trial and error.”
- “Menstrual cups have modified my interval! My horrible cramps are a factor of the previous!!”
What do you assume? Do you employ pure alternate options to tampons and pads? What has labored finest for you? Please share with a buddy to assist unfold this vital data!