Still Using Tampons Or Pads? You Should Read This

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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251 comments on “Still Using Tampons Or Pads? You Should Read This

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  2. Most definitely you can, just need to empty it more frequently, that’s what I do.
    I know this company ships worldwide. Check the details. http://www.ladycup.eu/
    One comment I have to make though, their transparent product is great, but I don’t care for their candy color campaign, as if that’s necessary. I get concerns around added colors. Use your judgment or see if you can order from DivaCup they don’t bother with colors.

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  4. Blesyn

    i am a HEAVY bleeder. Can a cup still be used? And I don’t know if we have that option in Nigeria now.

  5. Ganae

    You also should be aware of the fact that silicone can be very dangerous internally, I should know, I had the Mirena IUD and got silicone poisoning and was extremely ill for years. (Mirena had silicone shell and liquid silicone is mixed in with the levonogestrel hormone) Silicone poisoning is associated with auto immune disorders such as lupus/MS. I would be wary of using these silicone caps or do the research. Women with silicone breast implants have gotten extremely ill as well as men who have gotten things such as calf implants.

    • It’s not just run of the mill silicone, it’s medical grade quality. The very silicone used in heart valves and artificial joints. Not even close to the same thing used in liquid breast implants.

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  8. Eunice

    Will this cause endometriosis? I thought it’s caused by blood not cleared and they surround your organs? I’m interested in a cup though :)

  9. vinnie

    does it interfere with how active you are? like for instance if you do a cartwheel just to, is the cup going to spill in your insides and potentially leak out of your part?

    • ruby

      I use a cup and I am an athlete. I play volleyball with a cup and never had a problem. The reason why it stays is because it is sunctiony, and is only moveable when you break the seal yourself when you want to take it out. I haven’t used a pad or tampon since I bought it, and I’ve had it for about half a year.

  10. owadac

    I’m so glad to have found this article! Unfortunately, I just spent over $60.00 on a couple months worth of pads, tampons, liners, and more tampons. I was equally concerned about the environmental impact as well as the impact on my wallet! I’ll probably finish off my paid for stash, but right after, I’m looking forward to trying this product out. I especially love how DivaCup doesn’t want to use any colored dyes for the associated health risks!

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  15. you forgot to mention the sea sponge tampon

  16. Omg lol don’t use this plastic! They make natural tampons that you can reuse over and over http://www.silentsprings.com/jade-pearl-sea-sponge-tampons-reusable-2-count.html?gclid=CIDd8ta3xrkCFaNxQgoddTIAyA

  17. Venus

    Silicon is a natural, non-toxic product? I think NOT!!!!!

    • Ganae

      THANK you! As I read that I was thinking oh no! I got silicone poisoning from an IUD (blood test to prove it) and got extremely ill for a couple of years. Silicone is biologically inert but they type of silicone they use in medical devices such as these are man made polymers. They are EXTREMELY BAD for you internally.

      • Dana

        I am curious to know of this is true. I have been using the Diva Cup for about 6 months now. I find I have no cramps, and I menstruate for only 3 days. This is a link to the Cup page about the silicone they use. http://divacup.com/about-us/quality-and-standards/

  18. Kelly H

    Not every woman menstruates. Vast majority, yes, but not every single.

    But yes, I love my cup, and I was fairly fond of my cloth pads before that. My bathroom bin hasn’t been emptied in 6 months, and is still only half-full.

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  22. isis

    Ok this sounds fine to use at home but what if you’re in a public bathroom or some place with no sink inside of the bathroom stall? What do you do to rinse or do you just dump and reinsert?

    • Naya

      You can wipe with toilet paper, you can rinse with a water/spray bottle, you can bring your own wet wipes (make sure it’s something gentle that doesn’t mess much with your pH), or you can simply reinsert (you’re only placing back in what was already there just seconds ago).
      A few brave souls leave their stalls to wash, that however is not recommended by most, even cup users, but ultimately it’s up to you how brave you want to be.

      All this is if you HAVE to do this in public, most can go the advertised 12 hours, or pretty close (though I think most of the time when they say “up to 12 hours” it means it’s safe to do not that it’s actually possible for all), cups can hold a lot.

      Honestly it’s more convenient for me to use a cup when I leave the house even if I have to rinse it while I’m out, it still cuts down on my bathroom time compared to the pads and tampons I’ve had to deal with for years.

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