Still Using Tampons Or Pads? You Should Read This

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What is something that every woman has to endure in her lifetime? You got it, a menstruation cycle. On average a woman will have her period once a month, for about 5 days, for around 40 years of her life! During this time, we need to use various products to stay clean and fresh. There has got to be a market in there!

The tampon and pad industry is a $718 million dollar market, yet these items are necessities. This really got me questioning the production and ethical value behind these products. They are mass-produced, heavily marketed, and cheaply made – out of bleached rayon and plastics. Why is it that we never see ads for the much safer alternatives such as cotton products, reusable washable pads, and menstruation cups? All of these options are much more economical and are about a million times safer for the environment. Up until a few months ago, I didn’t even know that there were alternative products, much less think that there was any potential risk involved with using generic menstruation products.

Almost all sanitary napkins and tampons are made with bleached rayon, cotton, and plastics. How safe do you think that material is to be inside or very close to your vagina? Not to mention these products leave behind fibers that can cause bladder and vaginal infections, along with Toxic Shock Syndrome. Tampons are also known to absorb the natural fluids and friendly bacterias that the vagina produces to stay clean and healthy.

Let’s look at the #1 ingredient in generic tampons and sanitary napkins: Rayon. Rayon is a fiber that is made from cellulose fibers, and while cellulose itself is a natural fiber, transforming it into rayon involves processes which use chemicals such as carbon disulphide, sulfuric acid, chlorine, and caustic soda. Side effects from exposure to too much rayon can include: nausea, vomiting, chest pain, headaches, and many others. Rayon is not just found in tampons and pads, but a lot of clothes are made from it as well. Sanitary napkins also contain quite a bit of plastic, which does not allow sufficient air flow “down there” so in turn can also cause an array of infections. Moreover, tampons and pads are bleached using chlorine, which results in the production of dioxin, a chemical linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, immune system suppression, and various other ailments.

 So, what are our options?

A menstrual cup is my first choice for a tampon/pad alternative. It is a flexible silicone cup that is inserted into the vagina. Essentially, this cup catches all the blood you shed throughout the day. It needs to be emptied every 12 hours during your cycle and then you can reinsert.

I know what you are thinking… gross. That was my initial reaction too; I thought that it sounded so disgusting, that I could never imagine myself using it. I guess that changed as I researched all of the positive effects using a cup has to offer. If it is properly inserted and taken out there is no reason that you should ever have to actually touch blood, but even if you do, what’s the harm? Just wash your hands, you big baby. 😛 It may take a few cycles to get the hang of how to use one of these cups, but once you do you will wish you had started a lot sooner!

I recommend that you continue to use pads or liners until you have mastered the insertion technique, just in case. Not only will you save a lot of money using a menstruation cup, but you will be doing a huge favor to the environment as well. Think about it, if an average women uses about 17,000 pads or tampons during her entire menstruation lifetime, and you multiply that by 3.5 billion women in the world – well, you do the math.

Another great thing about using menstrual cups is that many women have reported experiencing less severe cramping during their period! I know that alone would encourage some women to make this change. Some brands of menstrual cups are: “DivaCup,” “MoonCup,” “Ladycup,” and “Lunette,” among many others.










There are also reusable pad products made of safe materials that come with washable, highly absorbent inserts to suit all different levels of flow. These would be a great option for women who do not like products that you have to insert. These reusable “pads” are made with safe breathable materials to keep your area healthy and leak free! Some brands that are available today are: “Luna Pads,” “Glad Rags,” and “Pleasure Puss.” You can also make your own.


Now, if you are not so keen on ever having to really see blood or wash your products, or just don’t like these options, there is still another alternative… sit in a lake for your entire cycle! You will eventually come out very cold and wrinkled, but at least you won’t be throwing away tons of junk into the environment or worrying about toxic chemicals being leached into your body.

Just kidding! Okay, there is one last (real) alternative to generic tampons and pads. There are some companies that make natural organic cotton products which do not leach chemicals or leave synthetic materials behind. These can still absorb your natural fluids and are not really the best things for the environment, but at least cotton is a more natural substance that can biodegrade quickly. Some brands of these products are: “Seventh Generation,” and “Natracare.”

So there you have it! I hope that this article opened up your eyes to the health effects and environmental hazards that are associated with using pads and tampons, and perhaps even made you reconsider what products you’re using. There are many websites that provide information with reviews on all of these products, do your research and find what’s best suited for you and your lifestyle.

If you are worried about how much fluid menstruation cups can hold in comparison to tampons and pads, check out this video:

Dr. Mercola also has a good alternative for purchase if you are interested. You can find out more about that here:

Much Love

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CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Geraldine

    sea sponges also work well, used them for years

    • Constance

      I strongly disagree with the use of sea sponges. They’re actually ALIVE; they’re not simply some marine form of cotton. I’m nowhere near vegan (not even vegetarian), but knowing this rubs me the wrong way.

      • Are you stupid? Obviously they are not alive when you put them in your underwear or however you use them. Yes at one point they are alive but the sea sponge dies after being dried out.

        • C. Campbell

          ^ “Are you stupid?” is not the least bit helpful nor is it kind. We’re all in the same boat here; how about some support / solidarity?

    • I used sea sponges for years. They work extremely well!

    • your friend for a free try! <3

      • doesn’t exist

        • I just clicked the link (I know I was taking a risk) and my computer is fine and the website came up, if you are unsure just google search the website, the name is a little kooky lol “Party In My Pants” certainly isn’t what comes to my mind during my cycle!! This is what the home page says: Has a tampon ever made you look forward to your period? Does your maxi pad make you smile? Nope.
          Most menstrual products only make the whole affair more uncomfortable. What’s up with that? Women deserve better.
          Party In My Pants will change the way you think and feel about your period. Forget trashy disposables and say hello to soft, gorgeous cloth pads. For the first time you’ll actually look forward to that time of the month and when it comes you’ll be more comfortable than ever before. This isn’t marketing mumbo-jumbo. It’s what women tell us over and over — even ladies who’s sworn off pads till the end of time.
          The secret? A period product designed by real women for real women. A menstrual helper that doesn’t leak, bunch, or feel bulky. And did we mention Party In My Pants pads come in the loveliest, wackiest, cutest patterns ever? With Party In My Pants, you’ll be sittin’ pretty in style and comfort.

        • I do not trust this link. The person has put it up twice just on this page.

    • Taylor O

      I was just about to say that about the sea sponges! My old RA showed me that option!
      Due to a condition, I wasn’t able to use tampons until I had had sex a few times, so I was stuck with pads all the time. With sea sponges you cut them (after your hands and tools have been sanitised! At least with distilled water) to fit you perfectly. And they don’t smell as bad either which can only means good things are going on. You remove them and rinse them out in the sink as often as needed given your flow (not as often as you would think you need to, for me at least).

  2. Can you please inform us of the possible side effects of using silicon (cups) inside the body please?

    • I have a SupraPubic Cathetar which is made of silicon… It is not inserted into my bladder via the urethra, but via a hole just above my pubic bone and goes directly into my bladder. It is rare that I get UTI’s and such, I have had this for over 4 years now and there are no adverse reactions to it. The silicon used for the cups would be similar… they are long lasting and durable, and replaceable when needed. Hope this helped.

    • They had similar products in the 70’s..called Tassaway. Seems they short-lived, from what I remember they were discontinued at the height of toxic shock syndrome. You may find more info from here.

      • It definitely helps to understand what the article is saying and read it fully.

        Either that, or you worded your comment poorly.

        The analysis was that it was a viable product. If the company hadn’t engaged in fraud and had legal troubles, they would have thrived.

        I can put it like this – I have had my cup for three years. I have had less bleeding and cramping than I did with tampons. I am an extremely heavy bleeder. Many women would have had hysterectomies by this point. THAT heavy. Even then, I only empty my cup 4-5 times a day. Most women should only have to deal with it once or twice.

        A silicone cup, unlike a tampon, does NOT dry out the vaginal cavity – the dryness is what allows these infections to set in and possibly enter the blood stream. The tissue was never meant to be dry, and it gets small cracks in the skin when that happens.

        If my daughter ever decides she wants to use more than just pads, I WILL be encouraging her to use a cup. It doesn’t do the damage abrasive, artificial fibers do, and it is safer. Cleaner, as well. I can’t express how much trouble I had with ALL brands of tampons. I won’t subject them to it.

        What I can tell you about the cups is that some companies donate one for each one purchased, as well as other organizations, to women in developing countries. The reason being is that the cups are sanitary and reusable. The women aren’t using dirty rags and getting sick. Many times, a quick rinse is sufficient, since the silicone is antimicrobial. There’s no place for bacteria to cling and thrive on them. The same cannot be said for pads and tampons. Why do you think they smell funky after they’ve been used? That ain’t your fluids you’re smelling.

      • Karen

        Actually according to the article they disappeared in the early 70s because of issues with the company (legal issues) completly unrelated to the product. Cups have never been linked to TSS – the article even says that.

    • - Collective Evolution

      From my research I haven’t found any adverse side affects from using a silicone menstrual cup, but please feel free to do your own research to make a decision that is best for you :)

      • Amanda

        It’s silicone people.

        • crosswind

          yeah, when i think of silicone.. i think of silicone breast implants rupturing, which are linked to breast cancer, reproductive problems or connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, one of my facebook friends is a strong advocate AGAINST anyone getting these implants. They ruined her LIFE & HEALTH. She has all kinds of auto-immune health conditions now from the toxicity exposure in her body. ~~I’ll stuck with ORGANIC TAMPONS INSTEAD ~~ Thank you anyway *~~ Blessings~~*

          • kS

            Silicone is a broad term to describe a variety of compounds. The silicone used in menstrual cups is safe, as proven by endless research. Organic tampons are still a foreign material to our bodies and still pose various risks. Women should simply be careful with what they use and try things to find what works for them.

          • LB


          • your friend

   for a free try!

          • Melody

            The silicone is not what causes the health adversities when breast implants rupture. It is the “gel” inside of the silicone that leeches out and causes health issues. The silicone reusable menstrual products do NOT have any other substance in them. They are 100% medical grade silicone. Silicone menstrual products are safe. I have found no adverse information regarding the use of these. “Organic” tampons on the other hand are mediocre at best. Yes, they are one step better than traditional tampons, but they still present many of the issues discussed in this article, like irritants such as fibers.

          • It’s more like the silicon used in medical tools and artificial heart valves, the real problem with breast implants is the quality of the silicon and the fluid they use inside them, Though apparently the newer high end implants are much safer than they use to be.

          • Diane

            particles of silicone from a ruptured breast implant loose inside your chest is completely different to a solid piece of silicone moulded into a cup and inserted temporarily into the vagina.

          • Kristi

            Breast implants are obviously not 100% silicone. There’s all kinds of other crap in there.

          • Its a different sort of silicone then what is going into breast implants.

  3. lady v

    I have used a cup now for a few years, and it is great. I don’t find it yucky at all. If anything, it actually makes me feel quite intrigued when i look at the blood and more in touch with my body. This is more practical if you are at home when emptying it, or if you work somewhere where the sink & toilet are in the same room (like a disabled person’s toilet). Since I’ve started using the cup, i’d definitely opt for it over tampons and towels. It makes you realise how much waste you are Not producing, by just emptying the contents. Apparently it’s good for plants growth too!


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