Toxic Tampons and Your Health
At our clinic, we're passionate about helping our patients understand the impact of toxins on their health. One area we love to educate women on is feminine hygiene products.
Each month during their cycle, the average American girl and woman absorbs high levels of toxic chemicals from tampons and pads. This is due in part to lax manufacturing standards. It's also because the vaginal wall is very absorptive.
Luckily, when you know better, you can do better, and there are many healthy options for getting through 'that time of the month' - without extra toxins!
Tampon and pad manufacturers are not required to list the ingredients in their products. Conventional products typically contain synthetic fragrances, bleaches, foams, gels and surfactants. The main material used in conventional tampons and pads is cotton - a crop notorious for genetic engineering and heavy use of pesticides.
Vaginal tissue is very permeable compared to other parts of the body. Compounds absorbed vaginally bypass the liver's filtration system, which means they get into the bloodstream in a higher concentration than if they were ingested.
The thin ridges of the vaginal wall are excellent for trapping chemicals, which means the toxins can sit inside of you long after you've removed the tampon.
Similarly, a conventional pad contains toxic chemicals, plastics and synthetic fibers that sit against very permeable skin for 24 hours a day for 3, 4 or even 7 days at a time.
Studies show the chemicals used in feminine hygiene products have been linked to cancer, hormone imbalances, reproductive harm, allergic rashes, and asthma.
Fortunately, better products exist! Seek out organic tampons and pads, which are often available at your local pharmacy or grocery store. If they aren't, you can order them online.
Another great option is a menstrual cup. Menstrual cups are flexible cups made of silicone of latex rubber. Instead of absorbing your flow, like a tampon or pad, it catches and collects it. Menstrual cups have a learning curve, so we always tell patients to give it at least three months before you decide whether you like it or not.
Cloth pads or "period underwear" are another great option. The biggest advantage about using a cloth pad is that it will not have any funny smell (unlike disposable pads that emit foul smell because plastics react with blood). Cloth pads are also eco-friendly!
Support Vaginal Health
Support your vaginal health by minimizing sugar and starchy carbs to prevent yeast overgrowth. Change out of sweaty workout clothes or damp swimwear immediately, and don't wear jeans that are too tight too often.
Taking probiotics can also help support vaginal health.
If you have questions about healthy periods, please reach out to our office for more information!