Nontoxic Period Products – Organic Tampons, Pads, Panties, & Menstrual Cups
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This is a personal topic for me, and not because it’s about menstrual products.
Recently, a family member underwent treatment for cervical cancer. After her diagnosis, she sent me a video about the toxicity of feminine care products (which I had seen before) and said “I wish I had known about this.”
Honestly, that is the comment that led me to start this blog. I knew that tampons and pads had toxic ingredients in them for a long time and had been using nontoxic products for many years, but I didn’t really talk about it because I knew that most of the people around me were not interested.
So I can talk about these things here, since you are interested.
Now moving on to the topic at hand…
Toxic Tampons and Pads
I never really thought about what’s inside tampons and pads. I figured, like with medicine and everything else you can buy in the store, it’s all regulated and should all be safe to use.
I had no idea that these products were full of glyphosate, dioxin, dyes, fragrances, and synthetic fibers like rayon. These ingredients have all been linked to endocrine disrupters, allergies, rashes, respiratory distress, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.
And in fact, the FDA does not require these companies to disclose their ingredients because they’re classified as medical devices. That’s crazy, since the vagina is the most absorbent part of a woman’s body (straight into the bloodstream).
There’s also the risk of toxic shock syndrome when using tampons. I remember reading those little pamphlets in tampon boxes as a teenager and freaking out about TSS so much that I would sometimes change my tampon more often than recommended out of fear.
The other concern with pads and tampons is the environment. According to the book Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation, the average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of pads, plugs, and applicators in her lifetime.
Nontoxic Period Products
While this info is quite concerning, there are many safer options.
These have been gaining popularity in recent years but many refuse to consider this option. Please at least read this.
Menstrual cups are reusable soft cups that work like tampons. You insert the cup into the vagina, it collects the flow, and you remove it to empty once or twice a day depending on your flow. And I’m serious about that only being once or twice a day. Even if you have a heavy period, this will do. They can hold a whole day’s amount. I only have to empty mine once a day and I used to change my tampons every 2-3 hours on heavy days.
They are also much more comfortable than tampons and pads and in my experience have been leak proof.
In addition to being nontoxic, these are eco-friendly and reduce the pain during your period.
This is my favorite option and what I have been using for the last 5 years. I often forget that I have my period when using them because I don’t have to change them and they don’t leak. They do have a slight learning curve and take a bit of experimenting to find the right fit.
Click on each image below for more info on the product. The most popular cup is the Diva cup, which is the one I use. Keep in mind cups come in 2 different sizes so read the descriptions and reviews carefully.
Organic Tampons and Pads
If you’re not as adventurous, stick to a safer version of what you know.
Kali is an organic tampon subscription box company. They offer chemical free affordable tampons and related products delivered right to your door on a monthly or bimonthly basis.
Some women also use cloth pads, which you can make or purchase online.
These are a newer option. I have not tried them myself but have heard good things.
Tips For Choosing Nontoxic Period Products
- Look for fragrance free and unbleached
- Try to buy products with an ingredients list
- Try to by organic to avoid glyphosate