Okay everyone, we need to have a talk about feminine hygiene – more specifically eco-friendly feminine hygiene.
True enough, many of us are much too busy to worry about feminine hygiene products. Our vaginal health, though, just can’t wait.
Those eco-friendly products are calling to us.
What, however, are these products, and are they actually any good?
We’ve already done the research. Now we’re sharing what we’ve learned with you.
Pads, Tampons, and Your Health
Before we give you more details on Diva Cups and other eco-friendly products, we’d like to tell you why the alternatives are wrong for you and your health.
Take a look at some of the risks of using traditional feminine hygiene products.
The term “dioxins” refers to “a group of toxic chemical compounds that share certain chemical structures and biological characteristics.”
And why are we sharing this information with you?
Because you can find these chemicals in some of your feminine hygiene products.
Just how dangerous, though, are dioxins?
According to Time, “the World Health Organization calls dioxins ‘highly toxic.” It also categorizes them as a “known human carcinogen.”
In other words, using traditional pads and tampons is equivalent to putting carcinogens in or near your vagina.
In all fairness, though, the Time’s piece also states that “the amount of dioxin in tampons is low today in comparison to when manufacturers used different bleaching methods.”
Still, why risk exposing yourself to these chemicals? There are, after all, plenty of eco-friendly feminine hygiene products on the market today.
You know that plastic does a number on our environment. You might not, however, know that exposure to plastic can be detrimental to your health.
Breastcancer.org reports that “research suggests that all plastics may leach chemicals if they’re scratched or heated.”
Not only that, but “research also strongly suggests that at certain exposure levels, some of the chemicals in these products, such as bisphenol A (BPA), may cause cancer in people.”
Needless to say, you can’t completely avoid plastic. We rely so heavily on it in today’s world.
That said, some of the eco-friendly feminine hygiene products we’ll recommend later will at least help you find ways to limit your exposure to plastic.
As you may or may not know, some of the materials used in many of your feminine products are bleached.
Our apprehension here may sound like an overreaction. We do believe, though, that some concern about putting bleached materials anywhere near your body is justified.
Bleach is, after all, a dangerous chemical, so dangerous that no one would refute that statement.
We understand that pesticides help agricultural workers protect their harvests from pests. Even so, we have every right to be concerned about the pesticides which are used on cotton.
Because that cotton is used to create our feminine hygiene products.
Pesticides have toxins in them, and we don’t necessarily know what effects these toxins have on our bodies, let alone our lady parts.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Unlike the other concerns on this list, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) has little to do with harmful chemicals present in external objects.
As matter of fact, TSS is “caused by a toxin produced by some types of staphylococcus bacteria.” Furthermore, “the earliest of cases of toxic shock syndrome involved women who used tampons during their menstrual periods.”
We’re not saying that TSS is a guarantee. You do, however, need to understand that using tampons increases your chances of becoming a victim of the syndrome.
Even if you’re not worried about your health, using traditional feminine hygiene products might unsettle you because of the negative effects it has on the environment.
Many commercial tampons and pads are manufactured using plastic, and plastic is not biodegradable. It also releases harmful substances into the environment.
Feminine products that consist of cotton are also problematic.
The production of these products often requires that manufacturers rely on cotton that has been exposed to pesticides and herbicides. Some people fear that the use of these chemicals is harmful to our environment.
Menstruation, as it turns out, is apparently more expensive than we think it is.
Probably because some of us don’t actually take the time to think about the price.
Luckily, Huffington Post contributor Jessica Kane is more concerned about the cost of our periods than we are. Her Huff Post piece actually features a chart which supposedly estimates the “total cost of your period over your lifetime.”
The grand total? Almost 20,000 dollars.
We know that this number is an average. Still, some of the eco-friendly feminine hygiene products we’ll talk about later certainly help women reduce the cost of their menstrual cycles.
We have finally reached the point at which we get to talk about organic goodies and sustainable feminine hygiene products.
Organic Pads and Tampons
Even organic pads and tampons are not sustainable in the long run. The disposal of these items still creates waste (and there is still the issue of TSS).
Despite that fact, these products are at least free of many of the harmful pesticides we talked about earlier.
We assume that every woman has heard of pads and tampons. We can’t say the same about menstrual cups.
Yes, menstrual cups are exactly what they sound like: little “cups” that you can insert into your vagina in order to keep your period under control.
There are numerous brands of these cups on the market. One popular menstrual cups is the DivaCup.
If you need more information about these cups, you should check out our review of the Diva Cup.
The cups also happen to be cost-effective since they’re reusable. They do, however, need to be replaced every once in a while, so make sure to do so.
Oh, and if the Diva Cup doesn’t sound like the cup for you, we’ve got a list of some of this year’s best sanitary cups. The Diva Cup is, though, number one, so you’ll have to bypass that entry and read the rest of the list. You can check out the Diva Cup on Amazon:
One Step Closer To Eco-Friendly Feminine Hygiene
You are now one step closer to finding the eco-friendly feminine hygiene products for you. There is always, though, more to learn about your feminine care.
That said, if you want to know more about some green alternatives to commercial products, check out our piece on tampon alternatives. From period panties to menstrual sponges, we think you’ll find it quite interesting.