Time to talk tampons

Over 45 billion menstrual products are used every year, at this point there should be a plastic-free option that’s affordable. An average we will use 11’000 disposable menstrual products in our reproductive lifetime so it’s important to make a conscious choice about what products you use.

We are all talking about sustainability but what does that look like in terms of your menstrual cycle? Everyone has swapped out their daily coffee run with a keep cup and started considering their water use and recycling. However, we forget to consider one of the most obvious options which could make a significant difference not just to our health but to the environment.

The global population is growing significantly so it’s time to nip this issue in the bud. One tampon takes longer than the average women’s lifespan to degrade, which means any menstrual products you have used in your life so far, are still in the environment.

It’s time to get informed on what chemicals we are putting into your body on a monthly basis and what options are available. Having plastic in our sanitary products isn’t just bad for the environment but can create a sweaty, uncomfortable environment for your intimate area. This can promote unhealthy, unbalanced bacteria growth.

Pads, tampons may feel like soft cotton but are primarily made of plastic. Most pads are roughly made of 90% plastic according to Natracare.com. In the last few years, scientists have shown growing concern over potential risks when using mainstream sanitary products. Increasing evidence suggests that some of these products contain trace levels of toxins that, over time could cause a serious health issue. According to the Chem Fatale, a study done in 2013 chemicals used in feminine products are “virtually unregulated” by the government. Tampons may seem like simple small objects made with few substances, however there is a large number of chemicals used by companies to make it.

The study also discusses how the substances used to make tampons, can be contaminated with highly toxic dioxins when bleached with chlorine compounds as well as pesticides from non-organic cotton.

Now if you are looking for alternative options there are some solutions. First, let’s discuss period pants. THINX is just one brand who are doing it they replace the need for any disposable sanitary products. They are machine washable and guarantee to do all the soakage. Period pants might not be for everyone so why not consider the menstrual cup? Menstrual cups can be inserted into the body to collect your blood during your cycle. Mooncup is a well-known brand which is said to be able to hold up to three times a tampon.

If you just want to change your menstrual hygiene to organic then consider Natracare. They ensure 100% organic sanitary products which you can purchase in Ireland in Holland & Barrett with prices ranging from €2.70-€4. If you have suffered from rashes or irritation, in general, several studies have found an association between menstrual pad use and vulvar irritation and by switching to unscented pads or changed brands resolved the symptoms almost immediately.

If you want to support an Irish brand called ilolove.com which also help to fight period poverty then check out their website. Jette the owner of this incredible company donates 50% of her revenue to fight period poverty in Ireland. The brand ensures 100% biodegradable, 100% non-toxic and 100% organic sanitary products. It’s a win-win for this Irish brand. They provide organic products which will cause no harm to the environment. You can get the products delivered to your door prices starting at €5.70. This savvy site also sells things such as PMS Salt Soak and essential oil blends to make that time of the month a little easier.

Lorna Lawless

Image Credit: commonswikipedia.org