TAMPONS, MENSTRUAL CUPS AND SANITARY PADS
WHAT'S YOUR PREFERRED PERIOD PRODUCT?
Perhaps you use one religiously or maybe you switch between several over the course of your period. Whatever way works for you, we really don't mind. But what's the real differences when it comes down to them in terms of health and toxicity for your body, the environment and your wallet.
Tampon - [ a plug of soft material inserted to the vagina to absorb menstrual blood]
Tampons - not as we know them have been around for years - I'm talking Cleopatra/Ancient Romans and even further back but the tampon as we do know it, with an applicator, was invented in 1929 by Dr Earle Haas (who later invented the contraceptive ring). His brand, Tampax had competition from the start from Kotex who was busy creating the original Thinx which actually ended up moving away from underwear that holds your blood and became the modern day sanitary pad.
It's said that over the course of your period life (which on average is about 40 years) you will use an average of 11,000 tampons which have 11,000 applicators and 11,000 individual wrappers which is not good for the environment or wildlife. Mainstream tampons (and sanitary pads but we'll come onto those later) are loaded with toxins.
What's most dangerous about this fact is that your vagina doesn't process toxins and hasn't got the ability to eliminate them like your body would if you ingested them through "normal" ways like swallowing. Instead they go directly into your bloodstream and while one box of tampons aren't awfully dangerous by themselves it's the fact that you're using these chemically laden tampons month after month, year after year for around 40 years of your life! Do you think about the chemicals in make up or skin care products and if so, why are toxins going into your vagina so different? Something to think about. I'll talk more about the actual toxins in tampons in a later blog post but for now, let's focus on the differences and risks associated with each product.
The other thing you must take seriously, and is a lot more common than mainstream sanitary companies would want you to realise, is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). It's a sudden and potential fatal condition caused by the release of It's caused by the release of a poisonous substances from a massive growth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, or staph which is actually found in many women's bodies. Toxic shock syndrome affects menstruating women. The body responds with a sharp drop in blood pressure that deprives organs of oxygen and can lead to death.
TSS really isn't something to take lightly, it can affect any woman but there are several factors which can push this over the edge. Don't leave your tampon in for extended period of time, some people say no more than 8-12 hours and other say no more than 6hours. It's also quite important to use the right size tampon at various stages of your period. Your flow isn't the same on any day of your period so if you buy a box of super tampons the likelihood is you'll only need them for a couple of days. The problem with using the same size tampon throughout your period is that you won't be lubricated enough down there on one of your lighter days and this means that using a larger size tampons will cause tiny scrapes and rips inside your vagina which increases the likelihood of infection which leads to TSS.
Menstrual Cup - is a feminine hygiene product inserted into the vagina and collects the blood during your period. It's generally made from medical grade silicone and now comes in a variety of different colours, sizes, shapes but generally it looks like a wine goblet but not that big, obviously! It's bendy and flex and has little holes for suction which seals the vagina underneath the cervix. While It doesn't absorb your blood, it does collect it and needs to be emptied every 4-6hours for safety.
One cup can last around 5 years if you look after it properly and so it's really cost effective and a much better solution for the environment. It's really easy to keep clean and after every Winter season you just need to wash and then boil in water and store safely for the next Winter season. TSS is very, very rare with menstrual cups because they don't tear or create abrasions on the inside of the vaginal wall where the bacteria grows.
Sanitary Pads - [an absorbant pad worn by women to absorb menstrual blood]
It's said that one sanitary pad contains as much plastic as 4 plastic carrier bags. Can you imagine? So much plastic in such a small thing. It's a huge environmental issue not to mention the amount of chemicals in them. Just like mainstream tampons, sanitary pads are a hotbed of chemicals. Fragrances, dioxin, bleach and furan to mention a few and all in a product that we use every month year upon year. There are alternatives, more eco friendly and chemical free ones.
The key takeaway that I hope you'll remember, is that education = empowerment. Knowing what you're putting in your body, the chemicals a product might have/give off/insert into your body is really important and allows you to make a clear, healthy and smart choice.
OUR FOUNDER, JETTE, HAS DONE A LITTLE VIDEO FOR YOU ABOUT THE ABOVE OVER ON IGTV IF YOU WANT TO CHECK IT OUT!
If you want to try our 100% organic cotton tampons or bamboo pads purchase below.