An Introduction to Eco Friendly Period Products
Disposable tampons and pads are by far the most popular period products on the market today. They’re easy to use, work well, and are not that expensive. However, they do have a number of negatives to them, including the waste they create, and the toxic chemicals that are sometimes in them.
The good news is that there are better options, including menstrual cups, and reusable cloth pads. I’ll give you a bit of information about each of these products, and how they can help you to have a more natural period experience.
Menstrual Cups vs Tampons
Many popular tampon brands contain small amounts of toxic chemicals in them. Dioxins and phthalates are the main areas of concern. They are particularly bad when they’re in tampons because they can enter your bloodstream directly through the walls of the vagina.
Although the amounts are small, exposure to this stuff can add up over time and lead to some serious health consequences. Scary stuff! Especially when you consider that the average person uses thousands of tampons during a lifetime.
The worst part about it? Most countries don’t require manufacturers of feminine hygiene products to disclose what’s in their products. For example, in the USA, the FDA classifies tampons as medical devices, so companies can easily avoid telling consumers what’s in them.
Consider Using a Menstrual Cup
The good news is that there is a better alternative, the menstrual cup. They’re been around for about 30 years (remember the Keeper Cup?), but have only become super popular in the past 5 years or so.
In case you don’t know what they are, they’re reusable cups made from medical grade silicone. You can use menstrual cups for around five years, so they’re cheaper, and far more eco-friendly than tampons.
If you’re looking to have a more natural period, then a menstrual cup is exactly what you need. They don’t contain any toxins in them. Plus, they come with a lower risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome than tampons. To date, there’s only been one reported case of TSS from a menstrual cup. Tampons? Thousands.
A More Natural Period
Perhaps the best thing about the menstrual cup is that it just seems more natural. You can see the stages of your menstrual flow easily, bright red at the beginning, to darker brown at the end. It’s also an easy way to keep track of how much you’re bleeding.
Tampons absorb all the fluid in your vagina. This can lead to things like yeast infections, and a scratchy, irritated vagina by the end of a period. Menstrual cups collect the fluid, and help your body to maintain a more natural state of things.
Reusable Cloth Pads vs Disposables
Disposable pads have many of the same problems that tampons do. They sometimes contain toxins in them that shouldn’t be next to our skin for up to a week each month for decades. One source is the pesticide that is used to grow the cotton in them.
Another problem with disposables is the waste they create. They’re made largely from plastic which isn’t biodegradable.
Consider Reusable Pads
Reusable cloth pads are not that much different from disposables, but they’re made from cloth, bamboo, charcoal and some other natural materials. They can last for years, making them very eco-friendly, and also a huge money-saver.
My favourite thing? Wash them before first use, but after that? They don’t contain any toxins in them, plus they just feel better next to my skin. They’re soft, comfortable and are great for people with sensitive skin or allergies.
Of course, you do have to wash them which is a minor hassle. But, if you don’t care about staining, it’s as easy as throwing them in the hamper with your regular laundry. If you do? Soak them in cold water after use and that’s about it.
Ready to Make the Switch?
It’s easier than you think to have a more natural period experience. Once you start, you’ll never want to go back! Menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads are cheaper, more eco-friendly, and far healthier than their disposable alternatives.
Tammy Ford is a sexual health expert living in Vancouver, Canada. Her hope is that a reusable period product will one day be found in the hands of every single menstruating person in the world.
You can find her at: Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/menstrualcups1234/)
*Images for article provided by Adobe Stock