Warning: This post is about periods, and vaginas and menstrual cycles so if you are a guy, or someone who doesn’t like to hear about those things, this is your cue to stop reading!
I stopped using tampons about 7 months ago after reading this post from Weed ‘Em and Reap. It was something I had thought about for awhile but was too scared to actually take the plunge. The post itself helped me to take a leap of faith and ditch tampons. Why did I stop and what do I use are two questions I commonly get asked if it comes up (and yes, it does come up! LOL) This post will share with the reasons I decided to ditch tampons and what I use instead!
8 Reasons to Ditch Tampons
- Filled with toxins-Tampons are made of cotton, so how can they be so bad right? Well, most cotton grown in the U.S. is Genetically Modified (GROSS) and cotton is highly sprayed with pesticides. The cotton is mixed with bleached rayon. These chemicals absorb into the vagina and can leave behind fibers in vagina.
- Imbalances pH of the vagina- Normal pH is essential for maintaining good vaginal health. When the pH is imbalanced a woman is at risk for vaginal issues such as infections, pain and discomfort.
- Can cause TSS- Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare but serious disease that can be prevented by not wearing tampons. TSS is caused by a bacterial toxin that can result in high fever, confusion, a rash similar to a sunburn, low blood pressure and can be fatal.
- Interferes with the menstrual flow- Tampons disrupt the natural downward flow of energy during menstruation which causes cramping and abdominal discomfort.
- Are bad for the environment- The average women will use about 11,000 tampons during her childbearing years. That’s wrappers, applicators, and the cotton absorber. Now times that by the majority of women. Disgusting. That’s a lot of trash!
- Depletes natural fluids causing dryness and irritation- In addition to absorbing blood tampons also absorb the natural vaginal fluids which causes the vaginal walls to become dry and damaged.
- Can contain mold– EWWWWW! Seriously, Checkout the link to read an article about how brand-new, unopened tampons are being found with mold.
- Can reduce fertility- In addition to GMO, pesticides and other toxic additives tampons typically contain dioxide, a known carcinogen, which has been linked to endometriosis and infertility.
What I Use Instead
Pads are an alternative to tampons but I just couldn’t imagine going back to them. I wasn’t a fan when I was younger and since my flow is heavy I didn’t want to feel like I was wearing a diaper for a full week out of the month. I had always been intimidated by a Menstrual Cup, but decided to give it a try. It took a couple days to get adjusted but now I love it. I have been using mine for 7 months and have saved so much money on tampons and my menstrual cup (where to buy) is much more convenient. If you have a high gross out factor, the cup may not be for you as you need to dump it out once or twice daily. For me it wasn’t an issue and after the first cycle it became much easier to use. I would maybe recommend a panty liner, or underwear you don’t care about the first couple of times you use it because there is a bit of a learning curve for how to insert it correctly. If you have problems using it read this post by Food Renegade with some helpful tips!
A menstrual cup is made of medical grade silicon and is resistant to bacteria. To disinfect in between cycles you can soak in hot soapy water for a few minutes, rinse, put it back in its nifty little bag and pack it away until next month. I love when I am traveling because I don’t have to worry about packing a million tampons!
Another bonus for me is that I have been experiencing fibroid cysts for the past year or so and my periods have been very uncomfortable. Since using my Diva Cup my cramps are much less painful and my periods are actually shorter! My only regret is that I waited so long to ditch tampons and start using it!
If you don’t want to switch to a menstrual cup I would suggest at least switching over to organic tampons to eliminate the chemicals being absorbed into the body (where to buy). There is also the option of organic pads (where to buy) and reusable pads (where to buy) as an alternative to tampons.
Would you, or have you, been brave enough to ditch tampons? Do you have any questions about making the switch?
Disclaimer: Please note: I am not a medical professional, the information provided is strictly for informational purposes. Please use your careful discernment and double check with your naturopath or doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements
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