Why Use Alternative Feminine Hygiene Products

Thursday April 28, 2016

Female bloggers have been writing up a storm lately on reasons why more women need to get on board with alternative feminine hygiene products from overall vaginal health to saving a little bit of cash.

One of the main reasons why women have been discussing alternative feminine hygiene products is the questionable chemicals that have been reported in regular tampons and pads such as dioxide, bleach, glyphosate and other pesticides.

Tampons and pads for the most part are made up of rayon and cotton or both.[1] Rayon is believed to be problematic because it is believed to pull too much moisture from the vaginal walls and stick to the skin, leaving miniscule synthetic fibers behind.  This may increase the risk of TSS, Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare but serious medical condition that is caused by bacterial infection according to healthline.com.

Cotton is believed to be problematic in that it’s considered to be a “dirty fiber” due to all of the pesticides and herbicides found in the fiber. According to research done at the University of La Plata[2] glyphosate was even found in 85 per cent of cotton hygiene products, an herbicide used by farmers.

Aside from dodgy chemicals, herbicides and pesticides that may be used in tampons and pads, there are plenty of other reasons to consider alternative feminine hygiene products.

For one it’s an eco-friendly option. 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons go to the landfill each year according to wellnessmama.com and greencleaningmagazine.com.

Sea sponge tampons, menstrual cups and cloth menstrual pads can be cleaned and re-used, which is not only an environmentally friendly option but also a “wallet-friendly” option.

The Diva Cup in particular has received a lot of attention lately and is one of the most recommended feminine hygiene products these days, which is likely due to the attention it received on Buzzfeed during a video[3] in which a group of women tried the cup and went about their daily business.

For the most part these women reported feeling comfort and no leaks. The Diva Cup is offered at Community Natural Foods along Luna Pads, which are a part of the same company as the Diva Cup.

Both brands are committed to reducing their impact on the environment while providing safe and comfortable product for women.

Menstrual cups can hold more liquid than a tampon, so they offer longer wear in between cleaning, meaning women can make it through a work day without any fuss.

The cups take up less room in a woman’s purse, can be more telling of the volume of flow during menstruation and keep the vaginal walls a little more moist, which is great for fending off disease as well as maintaining moisture for comfort during sexual intercourse.

There is certainly a learning curve to using a menstrual cup according to users (then again women all go through the same learning curve with tampons) and menstrual cups do cost more money up front (around 40 dollars). Most brands recommend replacing the cups after a year.

Sea sponge tampons work very similarly to the cup in that they absorb the liquid and can be washed and reused at a later date, the same idea applies to cloth menstrual pads, which may not hold as much liquid as a cup but are washable and re-usable.

These alternative options also won’t give women rashes in the worst place to ever get a rash, keeping the skin smooth, soft and comfortable.

The chemicals being reported in tampons and pads are an ongoing online discussion in which it becomes difficult to tell fact from fiction, particularly when the FDA is denying any reports of tampons and pads being detrimental to ones health.[4]

However, aside from the potential threat that tampons and pads may pose to a woman’s health, the alternatives to tampons and pads do prove to save money and provide comfort in the long run.


[1] http://wellnessmama.com/25415/problem-with-pads-tampons/
[2] https://translate.google.com/translate?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.infobae.com/2015/10/20/1763672-hallaron-glifosato-algodon-gasas-hisopos-toallitas-y-tampones-la-plata
[3] http://www.buzzfeed.com/safiyanygaard/these-women-tried-the-diva-cup-and-couldnt-get-it-out#.tqXeLOL4Xg
[4] http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PatientAlerts/ucm070003.htm