The Thing with
TAMPONS & PADS
Did You Know?
Why are tampons bad?
Tampons became popular in the 70’s as an alternative to pads. While tampons brought a lot of convenience to it’s users there are a few things that are “not so nice”.
Toxins & Additives. Majority of tampons are made of a mixture of Rayon and Cotton. A lot of chemicals are used in the farming and production process to produce a tampon. Some of the ingredients used in the growing and production of tampons includes harmful ingredients such as rayon, plastic (BPA), chlorine, dioxin, procymidone, piperonyl butoxide, methylene chloride, carbon disulfide…(There is a lot of big words there that sounds a bit scary).
Your vagina is a highly permeable place. Anything we place inside this area can be absorbed through our mucus membranes and into our bloodstream. That is definitely “not so nice”.
Higher Risk of Bacterial Infections. Tampons are highly absorbent and can impact your vaginal canals’ PH levels. Your body is amazing at keeping a natural balance “down there”. Your vagina is a mildly acidic environment that normally kills off small amounts of bad bacteria. Your body also produces important mucus that acts as a lubricant for your vaginal canal, keeping you nice and comfy while housing your healthy vaginal bacteria.
The problem with tampons is their absorbency: Tampons can leave your vaginal canal dry, they can make micro lesions in your cervical canal and they are a little breeding ground for bad bacteria.
Do not forget the “Wet String” situation after going to the toilet, shower, or swimming. Not so nice! It is just another breeding ground for pathogens (and very uncomfortable).
Environmental Impact. From the beginning of a woman’s first cycle up to menopause, the average woman will have 450 periods. That equates to approximately 3500 days of menstrual flow. Depending on a woman’s flow rate this translates to 10 500 – 17 500 pads or tampons over a lifetime. That is a lot of extra unnecessary pressure on our landfills and sewerage systems. Not so nice.
Cost of a Period. Period Poverty is a real problem worldwide. Have you ever thought about the real cost of your period? If you pay as little as R1.50 per tampon and use between 3 – 5 tampons a day while menstruating, that translates to R15 000 – R26 000 spent in your lifetime. That is not so nice!
Why are sanitary pads bad?
Sanitary Pads have come a long way since the days our grandmothers had to hand-stitch their own sanitary napkins and embroid them for their school sewing class.
We have all used a pad at one time in our life. It is still the most popular choice for girls starting their first cycle. But as with Tampons, Sanitary Pads also have a few things that are”Not So Nice”.
Uncomfortable. No matter how many wings you give a pad it is uncomfortable to wear. “Not so nice” – feeling like you have a slice of bread between your legs the whole day.
Strange Odours. Sanitary pads have to be changed regularly and sometimes it is difficult. We have all been caught off guard on a humid and hot summers day when you realize that slice of bread between your legs is getting an odour of its own. Not so nice. Not to mention the struggle if you have to change a pad and there is no bin in sight.
Environmental Impact and Cost. Depending on the brand, a sanitary pad can contain up to 90% plastic (Yikes). As with tampons, sanitary pad use over a a lifetime accumulates to a lot of waste on landfills.
According to Menstrual Health Alliance India, one regular non-organic sanitary pad could take 500 to 800 years to decompose as the plastic used is non-biodegradable and can lead to health and environmental hazards. Not so nice.
Limiting Activities. There are some activities in life where a sanitary pad is just not suitable, and wearing your swimming costume is one of them. You cannot take that slice of bread with wings into the water. Not so Nice!
Toxins, Pesticides, and Perfumes. Just like tampons, sanitary pads contain various toxins and pesticides. Some pads are made from recycled materials like plastic bottles. A lot of sanitary pads also have added perfumes and other additives. All of these elements can impact your vaginal homeostasis and can present as rashes, vaginal inflammation, vaginal allergies.