Still Using Tampons Or Pads? You Should Read This


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tamponsWhat 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 stay clean and fresh. There has got to be a market in there! The Tampon and Pad industry is a $718 Million dollar market, and tampons and pads are necessities. This got me questioning the production and ethical value behind these products. They are mass-produced, and 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? Any of these alternatives are much more economical and are about a gillion times safer for the environment. Up until a few months ago, I didn’t even know that there were alternative products, or even think that there was any potential risk from 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 in your vagina that can cause bladder, vaginal infections, and Toxic Shock Syndrome. Tampons are also known to absorb the natural fluids and bacteria’s 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, cellulose is a natural fiber, but to produce Rayon chemical procedures are needed that include: 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. Tampons and pads are also bleached using chlorine, which results in the production of dioxin, which is 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 and you empty it every 12 hours during your cycle and reinsert it. I know what you are thinking… gross. That’s what I thought too; my initial thought was that this sounded so disgusting that I would never use it. I guess that changed as I researched all of the positive effects that came from using a cup. 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. :P 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 period, x that by 3.5 billion women in the world, and yeah, you do the math…. Another great thing about using menstrual cups is that many women have reported to having less severe cramping during their period! I know that alone would encourage some women to making this change.  Some brands of menstrual cups are: ‘DivaCup,’ ‘MoonCup,’ ‘Ladycup’ and ‘Lunette,’ among many others.

cup_moon_cup

inserting-a-divacup

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pads-1

www.homesteademporium.com

There are also reusable pad products are made of safe materials that come with washable highly absorbent inserts to suit all different levels of flow. These would be a great option to women that do not like to 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,’ ‘Pleasure Puss’ and you can also make your own.

 

Now, if you are just not so keen on ever having to really see blood or wash your products, or don’t like these options there is another option, 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 crap into the environment and you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals being leached into your body…. Just kidding! :P OK, there is one last alternative to generic tampons and pads. There are some companies that make natural organic cotton products that do not leach chemicals, and do not leave synthetic materials behind. These can still absorb your natural fluids and they are still not the best things for the environment, but at least cotton is a more natural substance that can biodegrade much quicker and safer. 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 made you reconsider what products that you are 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.

http://lunapads.com/

 

http://www.natracare.com/Default.aspx?CultureId=en-GB

http://divacup.com/

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. Pingback: Menstrual Cramp Remedies – Relieve The Pain Naturally! | Collective-Evolution

  2. I’ve tried the cup and absolutely hated it. It wouldn’t get all the way full, but it was terribly uncomfortable and would STILL regularly leak. I tried the recommended size for me and it wasn’t working — I had too poor of an experience to dish out more money to try other sizes/shapes.

    Tampons increased my cramping and were also uncomfortable — use too light of an absorbency and you have to double-up with pads anyhow, and use too heavy of an absorbency and suffer when you have to try to remove it. Agony.

    Natracare organic cotton pads are where it’s at.

    • Ashley

      I had the same issue until I realized you have to put the cup all the way to your cervix and relax as you slowly pull it down. It took some trickery but now it works perfectly :)

  3. I have family members who are using the cups, and love them. (And one of them has very difficult periods with heavy flow.) I wish I’d had them back when I was having periods. Note: they come in different sizes, so do some research on what size to get—I think some of it depends on your flow, but some may depend on your internal size, too. They publish guides on it.

    As for the using your own cotton “rag”, four points:

    1. Cold water helps remove bloodstains; if you want to wait and do them all in one load, rinse out with cold water, then put them to soak in an old-fashioned diaper pail of cold water (or any container with a lid). If you really want, you could put a little bleach in the pail to kill germs. When it’s time to wash, put on rubber gloves, wring them out, and put them in the washer. Dump the pail water down the toilet, rinse it out, and refill with fresh water and bleach.

    2. When rinsing them, if you don’t want to rinse them in the sink, keep a special bowl for that in the bathroom. Fill it with cold water, rinse, wring out the rag, then dump the water in the toilet and flush. Oh, and if blood on your hands bothers you, keep a special pair of rubber gloves in the bathroom that’s only used for this purpose.

    3. If you don’t want to use bleach, maybe try oxy-clean instead, for soaking?

    4. If you have problems with your rag shifting around, go to a medical supply store (or maybe your drug store might have it) and get a couple of the old-fashioned stretchy belts women used to wear with the old Kotex pads (hospitals still sometimes give those to women who’ve just delivered). If you don’t want to use the fasteners that come with it (pokes holes in the cloth ends), clip those off and use safety pins, or sew on velcro instead.

    • Meagan

      I am glad you mentioned reusable pads but I just wanted to add that it doesn’t have to be this complicated. I just have a little container with a lid in the bathroom and I put dirty ones in and just throw them in the washer whenever I do a load of laundry. I use Party In My Pants pads and they are really well made, thin, and super cute. I use a cup too, but if I am just at home I use pads.

  4. Pingback: A Must Read For Ladies That Are Still Using Tampons Or Pads! | Organic Health

  5. Pingback: Period Stigma: More Than Just An Annoyance | A Few Choice Words

  6. Erin

    There is another option for women who aren’t trying to get pregnant… continuous birth control. We don’t need to have our periods…so don’t. I can’t stand the blood, the mess, the inconvenience, the smell, the cost, everything about having a period… so I choose not to. There are several awesome brands on the market that work great for this. I haven’t had a period in years and absolutely love it!

    • Friend

      hahahaha and you want to be healthy, good luck !

  7. Kathryn

    Your experiment in the video would’ve been way better had you measured the liquid for all 3 and kept only one variable (your products) changing during the experiment. Its a flawed experiment. I’ll stick to tampons. Pads feel too much like diapers and cups just aren’t convienent. (I agree with others about being in public restrooms and not being able to wash it). And reusable pads too are just gross. If I have to change it while I’m out running errands, I don’t want to have to carry around a nasty, bloody, stinky (we all know how period blood just has that distinct smell) pad in my purse. There are organic tampons and cardboard applicators if you’re that worried about it. Flush and go is just a lot easier for me.

    • Lucy

      Given that you only need to empty the menstrual cup 12hrly, I only ever need to deal with it morning and night, while at home. If you are needing to change it while out, just select a bathroom that has the wash basin in with toilet, or use toilet paper to wipe it out, and wash it when next convenient. I find it much more convenient than tampons or pads!!

  8. I am talking to as many females as possible about the benefits of using reusable cloth pads. They are amazing. And coupled with a cute wet bag when I am on the go, it really couldn’t be easier!

  9. Gia-lee

    Thanks but I’ll stick to tampons. I’d rather not use the cups and have blood on my hands like I just stabbed someone. Pads make me feel like I’m wearing a diaper so, no, and I’d rather bloody vaginal pads not go in the washer with my normal clothes..

    • Ang

      Then don’t stick them in the wash with your normal clothes…wash them separately.

      • So what happens when you need to change in the middle of the day and you’re out, are you going save it in your bag. Allusions what happens when the cup needs emptying and rinsing and you’re in a public bathroom with stalls, and the sinks arent inside the stall. These things aren’t practical. Pads were designed to make things more convenient for women. These methods are for victorian women with nothing to do when the day comes so they stay in bed till it’s over.

        • Cori

          As many people have stated, you can simple wipe the cup out and reinsert. Or, if you really don’t care and you want to clean it in a public restroom than do so. There are also soft cups which i tend to replace at least once on my heaviest day. Pads/tampons might be more convenient but they are also extremely harmful to your body. So cups are a great alternative. I no longer have skin irritation because of wearing pads for so long. That in and of itself is worth using the cups for me.

        • KarenC

          I’m sorry but that’s a ridiculous comment. Obviously you have no experience with the products (yet think you know enough to comment on them??) and haven’t bothered to read any of the probably dozens of comments about how extremely convenient they are to use.

          I’ve been on vacation these past 6 days and have had my period almost the whole time. I assure you I haven’t been lying in bed waiting for it to be over! I’ve been out and about every day, all day! You only need to empty it every 12 hours so it only happened once that I felt the need to empty in a public washroom. I just emptied, wiped quickly with toilet paper and reinserted. If I’d been a bit more organized I could have wet a paper towel before entering the stall and used that.

          Cups are actually way more convenient for active women because you can literally forget about it for 12 hours. So you can go about your day and never worry about changing a tampon or pad every couple of hours!

          Pads are a bit less convenient it’s true. But it’s still doable and not that difficult at all. Just being a small wetbag for your dirties and a couple fresh pads to change. The bags are waterproof so no worries about mess, small enough to fit in the smallest purses and many have a separate compartment to store your clean pads.

        • Ashley

          I wipe it off or keep a mini-water bottle in my purse to rinse it. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    • JH

      I thought the same about cups but had a friend who said it wasn’t bad. I’ve been using it for almost a year and it really isn’t that messy at all and I don’t hate my periods anymore. I usually forget I’m even on them.

    • Ashley

      They have natural sponge tampons. And it’s kind of sad that you are so deterred by your body’s natural fluids. You can wash your hands after.

  10. christine

    Oh good, I have been waiting for an article like this one to reappear… What i cannot for the life of me understand is why so many, almost everyone (I refer to women here, given the topic), in the industrial world is so brainwashed and so consumerism-addicted that they can’t even see how simple it is to JUST USE A RAG!!
    I admit, i had thought little of it for years, too. A roommate of years ago was using cotton cloth (same as is used for cloth diapers – duh), and she was always content with that (as content as one can be while “on the rag”), in any case she never complained, and also never preached (as I’m doing, now). It bothered me a lot that I was using single-use plastic countless time, every month, and that plastic was in intimate contact with my skin. Only about a year ago did It occur to me, that I my search for plastic-free women’s hygiene products was not futile after all! Frugality is an obvious factor. The plastic-free pads were great, but expensive. I had to find a better solution. So, one day, I was sorting laundry, had an older worn out terrycloth towel that needed to be retired, and it hit me. I cut it up into squares (there was not waste). I carry an inconspicous small bag inside my handbag, when i’m on the go, and simply rinse the cloths any time i take a bathroom break. At home, I rinse them and hang them on the back row of the towel rack (ours is attached to the wall over the tub, and accordions out with a simple pull), to spare my kids the unsightly stains. Later, when I’m more or less back in the clear, I throw all the cloths together with other stuff in the washing machine, dry and fold them away for the next month. And these days it costs me, each and every month, NOT ONE SINGLE PENNY. Go figure.

  11. Why aren’t there different sizes of cups? I can’t use them- they are way too uncomfortable and don’t fit.

    • Karen.

      There are indeed a great deal of various sizes and shapes. The Diva Cup is the only one I’m familiar with and it has two sizes (one for before pregnancy and before the age of 30 and then one for after pregnancy and/or past the age of 30. Many other cups have different sizing and are known to have different shapes. Some are also softer than others (I’ve read that the Diva Cup, for example, is a rather stiff one). I think some have posted links in the comments here but I’ve heard of sites that have comparison charts of each brand and its sizing.

  12. I love witnessing women wake up to the toxic marketing and embracing their moon! Thanks!

    • Eileen

      You comment about India, they are makng sanitary pads not cloth or renewable or sustainable materials, more garbage!!!

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