The ingredients in tampons and pads don’t have to be listed or disclosed by the manufacturer because the FDA considers feminine hygiene products “medical devices”. Since the vaginal canal is lined with permeable mucous membranes, which easily absorbs chemicals, it’s important to know what’s going in there! Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the ingredients used in feminine hygiene products, it’s up to you to make an informed decision about tampon use!
What’s in your tampon?
- Cotton: Almost all cotton is farmed using pesticides. In fact, cotton farmers use about 25% of the supply of the world’s pesticides! Introducing pesticides to a highly absorbent vaginal mucosa is probably not the best idea. Furthermore, if your tampon doesn’t indicate that it’s made with organic cotton, then the cotton used is genetically modified.
- Dioxins: In order for tampons to get that white “clean” look, the cotton is bleached, which creates toxic dioxins as well as other byproducts such as trihalomethane. Dioxins deposit in your fatty tissues and have been shown to cause pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, reduced fertility, abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen, and endocrine system disruption.
- Fragrances: Most fragrances used in personal care products such as tampons are not from a flower farm in France. Instead, they’re derived from very strong chemicals created in a laboratory and mass produced in a factory. You wouldn’t spray perfume into your vagina, but when you use a scented tampon you’re essentially doing just that! Those chemicals kill the good bacteria that’s in the vagina causing the bad bacteria to overgrow and leaving you running to the store for yeast infection medication to insert next.
There are safer options available!
The good news is that there are other options besides bleached, genetically modified, artificially scented tampons. Many women have experienced less cramping and a decrease in other period related symptoms after switching to a more natural option. Here are a few recommendations:
- Diva Cup
- Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Organic Cotton Tampons
- Glad Rags Organic Pads
- Organyc 100% Organic Cotton Tampons
- There are also some online companies that will deliver organic hippy-dippy tampons and/or pads straight to your door every month. One such company is called mylola. You can check them out at www.mylola.com