This blog was written for Breast Cancer Conqueror
If you add up all those cranky, crampy, and chocolate-craving period days of your menstruation life, they will add up to about 10 years! You will also use 11,000 – 15,000 menstruation products. Means that having SAFE, NONTOXIC menstrual products is bloody critical!
I’m not talking about the level of tampons or pads you are buying for your extra heavy days. But rather something much more important—about toxins being heavily absorbed into your body. Perfumes, dyes, chlorine, pesticides, dioxin, plastics, phthalates, chemicals we can even pronounce DO NOT BELONG INSIDE YOUR BODY! They will be absorbed by your mucus membrane and then flow around your body via your bloodstream. Chronic exposure (AKA the 3,652 days you spend menstruating) increases the risk of cancer and infertility, causes oxidative stress and metabolic changes, and disrupts your endocrine system.
According to Dr. Philip Tierno, a leading expert on the health risk of tampons:
“Even trace amounts of dioxin are cause for concern because tampons come in contact with vaginal tissue, which is covered in permeable, mucous membranes leading directly to the reproductive organs. In addition, based on an average woman’s menstrual cycles, about 12,000 tampons per lifetime is possible. The cumulative effects would, therefore, be considerable and possibly measurable for many years.”
Think about it this way: Doctors are giving hormone treatments vaginally because the drug levels can be 10-80 times higher than when administered orally! This is because it instantly goes into your bloodstream without being metabolized. Now, think about a toxically made tampon in your body 24/7 for 5+ days a month!
Here are some major red flags that are actually in your menstruation products. It’s that time to do some light, regular, and super absorbency research to find the best nontoxic period product for your lifestyle. Below, I will share some research to get you into the flow.
Here’s why nontoxic menstrual products are a must: nonorganic cotton (which most period products are made of) consumes more pesticides than any other crop in the world. All of those pesticides are then directly absorbed into your bloodstream.
Cotton only takes up 2.5% of the planet’s agricultural land. However, it accounts for 16% of all insecticides used worldwide. This equals $2-3 Billion spent on pesticides to be sprayed on your menstrual products, clothes, furniture, etc.
This is horrible for you, your vagina, and the cotton farmer, as around 44% are poisoned by pesticides every year! For you, pesticides can also cause serious health issues such as neurological disease and cancers, as well as long-lasting impacts on your environment and water quality (which also lead to horrible illnesses).
Dioxins, a by-product of bleach—why tampons and pads are perfectly white—are one of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet. It is also used to bleach your computer paper.
“Dioxins are classified as known human carcinogens, but they also cause noncancerous effects like atherosclerosis, hypertension, and diabetes. Long-term exposures to dioxins cause disruption of the nervous, immune, reproductive, and endocrine system.”
Using a couple of tampons, panty liners, or pads with a tiny amount of dioxin won’t cause much harm—which is what the FDA states. However, some women use pantyliners almost daily, and the average woman can use even 15,000 tampons in a lifetime! This excessive monthly or even daily exposure, especially during critical developments (puberty and reproductive years), is what can cause immense damage. Learn more about dioxins and BRCA here.
No, you do NOT need to smell like roses down there. It also can mess up your natural pH levels and cause all sorts of irritation and issues. Never buy products with fragrances because they are considered “trade secrets,” and the chemicals in them do not need to be disclosed.
The easy insertion silky plastic applicator comes at a stiff price. Phthalates and many other plastics are known as endocrine disruptors. They are a carcinogen that can lead to gene mutation, organ damage, and cancer.
Nontoxic Menstrual Products
You have SO MANY OPTIONS! You don’t have to stick with Always or Tampax. Here are just a few of the ones I love! Even if you are post-menopause, using nontoxic options is essential for all sorts of absorption (such as Urinary Incontinence).
These are all washable, breathable, and reusable period underwear. They absorb your blood (and everything else) so that you do not have to waste endless pads and tampons. They range between $10-50 each, which could save a lot of money in the long run. I just listed 3, but there are dozens of options.
Thinx: They hold about 5 regular tampons worth, last for about 2 years, and come in all sorts of sizes and types.
Dear Kate: These only hold up to 2 regular tampons, but they don’t look or feel like other “period underwear.”
Period.: They offer all types of panties and even for people who involuntary pee sometimes.
These are amazing options for you and our planet. No more running to the store to buy menstruation products just to have them live in the landfill for endless years. They are also made with nontoxic, happy vagina materials. You wear it like a tampon, dump it out, wash it, and repeat.
Diva Cup: They are the OGs of period cups and come in 3 different sizes and styles for your flows. You can keep the cup in for up to 12 hours—only 2 changes a day!
Sustain: Their cups minimize irritation and dryness as it offers superior leak protection for up to 6 hours. They also sell a cornucopia of organic products, from condoms to pads.
Flex: This is the only cup with a patented pull-tab for super easy removal, gives you 12-hour protection, and is made from 100% medical-grade silicone. They also sell their patented Disc, which holds up to 6 super tampons.
Pads and Pantyliners
Natracare: They’re certified organic, perfume-free, rayon-free, chlorine-free, biodegradable, compostable, and vegan!
TSS (toxic shock syndrome) is a life-threatening condition caused by bacteria getting into your body and releasing harmful toxins. It can happen after surgery and more commonly to women who do not change their tampon every 4-8 hours, depending on how heavy their flow is that day. Therefore, make sure to change out your tampons and use organic brands!
Lola: They offer all sorts of tampon types and everything else you could need for vaginal and sexual health! Their 100% organic tampons are made without synthetic fibers, fragrance, chlorine bleach, chemical additives, and dyes!
Seventh Generation: From dish soap to tampons, Seventh Generation offers all sorts of nontoxic options! Their 100% organic tampons offer dual-layer leak protection and are totally free of rayon, deodorants, fragrances, and unnecessary chemicals.
While all of the above can easily be purchased online, many nontoxic tampons, pads, and pantyliners are sold at most grocery and convenience stores! It really IS easy to choose organic, nontoxic menstrual products because they can easily be found where you normally would buy your products!
However, everything I do is to give you information so that you can make the best choices for your beautiful life!
P.S. I also highly suggest taking Probiotic Support for overall vaginal health. Probiotics can help prevent yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, itching, and other miserable things that happen when the vaginal microbiome isn’t balanced.