You all are about to learn too much information about me, but whatever…I’m an over-sharer so there’s that! I got my period when I was 13 and I always wore Always pads…for years. I was scared to use tampons (which is apparently a lot more common than 13 year old me thought. I work at a dance shop and how to wear a pad while dancing is a common question from pre-teen moms.) I also NEVER got cramps.
The first time I wore a tampon…
I was about 14 or 15 and at a friends’ pool party. You can’t wear pads in the pool, so I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and just made it go in! And I never went back. I was an official tampon wearer after that…they’re so much easier and way more comfortable!
Except at the time, there was little to no information out there about how toxic tampons (and conventional pads for that matter) are! I’m sure organic tampons and pads existed, but I’d never heard of them. The more years that went on that I wore toxic tampons (Playtex Sport tampons were my go-to’s, but I also used tampax pearl sometimes too), the worse my cramps got! My diet was also crap at the time, so I know that didn’t help the cramp situation either.
When I was around 23 or so, I discovered organic period products and never used a toxic tampon or pad again!
And even though diet definitely does affect how severe my cramps are, they haven’t been as bad as when I used toxic products since switching! (If you need some natural period cramp relief, click here!) Who knew shoving toxic chemicals inside your body would cause such bad cramps (which ARE NOT NORMAL!!! Also, birth control doesn’t “cure” your cramps. It just hides the issue and when you get off birth control, your body is even more screwed up than before! But that’s a topic for another post.)
Conventional tampon brands (like Tampax, Playtex, etc.) are LOADED with toxic chemicals. These chemicals include reproductive toxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors, allergens, and skin irritants. Unfortunately, tampon companies are not required to disclose ingredients in their products since they are considered medical devices by the FDA and not subject to labeling.
Carbon disulfide, parabens, phthalates, pesticides, triclosan, and chloroform have all been found in conventional tampons.
Why has it become so normal to stick toxic, cancer causing, and reproductive system harming chemicals inside our bodies monthly??!! And people think I’m the crazy one for not using conventional feminine products…
I think the number is about 85% of women use these products monthly. Reproductive and hormonal cancer rates are constantly rising (breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer), so many women suffer with infertility, PCOS, endometriosis, frequent yeast infections, and this has all been normalized. IT IS NOT NORMAL!!!
Diet and lifestyle definitely play a part in it, but what people don’t consider is their pads and tampons. There are MUCH BETTER options for period products out there that don’t cause cancer or reproductive harm.
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Organic Pads and Tampons:
These are made with Organic Cotton, free of plastics and pesticides. The only ingredient is Organic Cotton! Organic Cotton isn’t drying like Rayon (in conventional tampons) so they lessen your risk of toxic shock syndrome too! (This is my favorite brand.)
I’m still getting the hang of this one. But these are medical grade silicone cups that collect instead of absorb. You can wear them up to 12 hours unlike tampons which you should only wear 8 hours max. The only down side to the cup is there’s a pretty hefty learning curve which is why I’m still getting the hang of it. Also, the cup is super cost effective because it’s reusable every month! I’m trying to get to the point where I don’t buy pads and tampons anymore. Way better for the environment and my bank account! The cup I’ve been using which is great for beginners is this one!
I haven’t ventured into this option yet, but these do exist! You can buy washable pads that you just use and wash. Just wash them with Toxin Free laundry detergent and make sure they’re made out of organic/pesticide free fabric or it defeats the purpose of using these to avoid toxic chemicals.
I’ve seen a few different options in this category. One is a knit/crochet option. Again, just make sure you’re washing these with Toxin-Free detergent and the material is organic/pesticide free too! There’s also a sea sponge that you can use like a tampon too. I haven’t done the research on it but if that sounds interesting to you, go for it!
Ever since I switched to Toxin Free period products, my cramps have become less severe, my periods have become a lot lighter and shorter too!! Also, organic tampons are way more comfortable than conventional tampons. All of my friends who’ve borrowed an organic tampon from me agree too and most of them have made the switch!!
With multiple different options out there for your period, there’s no reason to use Toxic products anymore! I’m begging you, if you make one toxin-free switch, please make it your feminine products!!!