Have you ever considered what you use, their manufacture and how much sanitary ware you will use over your menstrual life?
You will use
around 16,000 tampons in your menstrual lifetime and spend over £18,000 on your periods (stats 2015)
Persistence Market Research (PMR) have just published stats indicating the global feminine hygiene market is expected to be valued at US$ 16,896.8 Mn by 2024
Now I have got your attention!
Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart has researched conventional tampons and sanitary pads . Her research informs us that
- every conventional sanitary pad contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags
- potentially hazardous odour neutralisers and fragrances contain artificial colours, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG). These are linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.
- Synthetics and plastics such as BPA, BPS contained in sanitary ware are known to disrupt embryonic development and are linked to cancer.
- Phalates which give the paper tampon applicators a smooth finish are known to dysreglate gene expression – not good for fertility and can lead to hormone chaos. The Creation Fertilty Guide to Environmental Toxins and Creation Fertility Guide to Skincare explains more about these chemicals.
- Synthetics restrict free flow of air – this can lead to heat and dampness. Both promote vaginal yeast and bacteria which can cause vaginitis (inflammation), vaginosis (bacterial infections, also known as BV) or worse still if the infection reaches the cervix this can lead to sub-fertility or pelvic inflammatory disease
- Rayon is made from chemically treated wood pulp and has been used since the 1930’s because it’s absorbent & cheap. It’s estimated that each year 25% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow it. And we are putting that inside us!
Regular sanitary ware is a blend of viscous rayon and conventional cotton but the chemicals, bleaching agents, perfumes, dyes and finishing agents can ‘leach’ out of the product. Looking at the photograph above can you see the “leaching” between a high street tampon and a natural cotton tampon? Thank you Time of The Month for use of your photo’s
Do you react to the synthetic fibres, chemical additives and perfumes of high street non-cotton brands?
Reactions include discomfort, dryness or itching, irritation and thrush-like symptoms and even recurrent bacterial infections
How does the vagina absorb toxins?
Did you know your skin around and inside your vagina is a mucous membrane and highly permeable?
WebMD explains the vagina as an elastic, muscular canal with a soft, flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. The vulva and labia form the entrance, and the cervix of the uterus protrudes into the vagina, connecting the uterus to the outside world. The vagina serves as a conduit for menstrual flow from the uterus during the monthly womb bleed. When chemicals come in contact with the vagina they are absorbed straight into the bloodstream without filtering of any kind. Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate. Dr Mercola wrote an article for Huffington Post during 2013 where he said
“The realm of feminine hygiene can be likened to a “ticking time bomb.” Exposure over the course of a lifetime can be vast – the average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons — or as many as 24,360 if she’s on estrogen replacement therapy.
And that’s just tampons… what about sanitary pads, pantyliners, maternity, nursing and bladder support pads?
Studies show that dioxin collects in your fatty tissues. According to a report by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), dioxin has no “safe” levels of exposure! Even trace levels of dioxins may be linked to:
- Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
- Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
- Immune system suppression
- Hormonal and endocrine system disruption
Toxic Tampons alternatives
If you value your fertility, hormonal health and “love your womb” I would suggest you consider natural cotton tampons or sanitary pads or use a menstrual cup rather than toxic tampons. Sub fertility, endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome and gynaecological cancers are all on the increase. Chemicals found in synthetic sanitary ware may increase the risk of developing these hormonal diseases. Unfortunately no long term studies have been funded so we cannot confirm or deny their impact on hormone health.
Resusable CSP’s – cloth sanitary pads The Telegraph Newspaper ran a good article about their use and also how to clean them. Here is the link if you wish to read it Reusable period products. There are a plethora of companies now selling them, just google or use some of the links below.
Menstrual Cups Made from soft medical grade silicone. They come in various sizes and are worn internally, similar to a tampon but designed to collect menstrual flow rather than absorb it. The cup is folded and inserted into the vagina, then removed, rinsed and reinserted (about every 8 hours) for the duration of your period. Providing you insert it correctly a light seal forms with your vaginal walls to stop leakage or odour. If you search youtube you will see many videos demonstrating insertion and removal techniques and folds. Menstrual cups can be purchased from the Natural Dispensary using the link – My promo code is MAPLE for 10% discount
If the reusable options above don’t float your boat but you do want to change to an organic cotton disposable towel or tampon for your monthly womb bleed some health food shops and pharmacies sell them. You can also opt to buy on-line. Here are a few brands and on-line companies to investigate!
Natracare tampons, sanitary and maternity pads
Time of the month on line organic cotton tampons, sanitary towels and pantyliners
Justine Evans ND is a Hormone Alchemist and Fertility Expert. She is a degree qualified nutritional therapist and registered naturopath (ND). Justine is passionate about female health and fertility, considering women’s health not only from a functional medicine perspective but also environmentally and bio-dynamically. Justine is the founder of Creation Fertility and it’s products. Justine can be contacted on 07747 133170
Disclaimer: This article has been written as personal opinion and guidance only and should not be construed as medical advice. I am not a medical doctor.