Are Pads and Tampons Dangerous for You?

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Of all the things we think about when trying to be healthier, feminine products don’t usually rank up there very high. Of course we consider the food that we eat and the amount of exercise that we are getting. How many people think about the cleaners that they are using in their home, their bathing products, or the water they’re drinking though?


While you can’t completely get away from all sources of pollutants that exist if you’re going to live in this world, there are plenty of ways of avoiding those things that are the worst for you. You’ll definitely want to check out my articles on Cleaning Products and Bathing Products. But why should we worry about pads and tampons? Doctors create those things and wouldn’t give something to us that wasn’t safe, right?

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Wrong. Most especially because we are using this item in a particularly vulnerable, sensitive area, we need to pay very close attention to this information. Both pads and tampons have been proven to cause untold numbers of reproductive problems in women, and the rate of reproductive problems in women are increasing at alarming rates across the United States.

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo by George Tsapakis on Unsplash
  • Endometriosis is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else.
  • Uterine fibroids are the most common noncancerous tumors in women of childbearing age.
  • Cervical cancer begins in the cervix, which is the lower, narrow end of the uterus.
  • Ovarian cancer begins in the ovaries, which are located on each side of the uterus.
  • Uterine cancer begins in the uterus, the pear-shaped organ in a woman’s pelvis where the baby grows when a woman is pregnant.
  • Vaginal cancer begins in the vagina, which is the hollow, tube-like channel between the bottom of the uterus and the outside of the body.
  • Vulvar cancer begins in the vulva, the outer part of the female genital organs.
  • Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic bladder condition resulting in recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder or surrounding pelvic region.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome happens when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal.
  • Infertility is the inability or difficulty in conceiving children.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is inflammation of the female genital tract, accompanied by fever and lower abdominal pain. (CDC.gov)

Right now, “the fertility rate in the United States is the lowest it has ever been. In fact, the present overall fertility rate puts the United States population below replacement level” (NYTimes).

Let’s look at how exactly pads and tampons are contributing to these issues.

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo by Eleonora Patricola on Unsplash

What is in Pads and Tampons Makes Them Dangerous?

Your feminine products are essentially made of plastic. In fact, “one conventional sanitary pad contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags.” The chemicals used to make plastic like BPA and BPS have been known to disrupt hormone production and complicate embryonic development. BPA is also known to cause much more harm to our bodies, like organ damage, endocrine disruption, and disease processes associated with heart disease and cancer. (Dr. Mecola)

This is why there are so many warnings about using plastic water bottles, heating food in plastic containers, etc. When you think about these harmful chemicals being pressed against the skin in your underwear or even put inside your body, this should be very alarming.

The fiber used in pads and tampons has also been proven to cause cervical cancer, as it is not made of pure cotton like they would like you to believe. It is made using a mixture of cotton and cellulose gel, which is what is responsible for the absorbing power of your feminine products. (ANIGAN.com)

This is the same ingredient being used in baby’s diapers to absorb the liquid. “When used in tampons, these fibers can stick to your vaginal wall, and when you remove the tampon, the loosened fibers stay behind inside your body, thereby raising your risk of TSS,” (Dr. Mecola) something important we’ll talk about in a little bit.

Unfortunately, “when chemicals come in contact with your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.” And when you consider the fact that “the average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime,” (Dr. Mecola) including those that use the same number of pads, or use both simultaneously, it’s no wonder the number of women with “infertility” related issues or other reproductive problems is so high.

Obviously you don’t immediately get cancer or organ failure, you’re using pads or tampons every month. Although the level of exposure to the chemicals present may be low, the area inside your underwear is particularly porous (vascular), and susceptible to such contaminants.

The toxic chemicals you were exposed to would accumulate inside of your body over your lifetime and threaten your reproductive health. This is the main reason women in their 30s and older struggle with their fertility.

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo by Cameron Kirby on Unsplash

Let’s Talk About Pesticides and Bleach

Yes, that’s what I said. Feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary pads are an often ignored source of GMOs and pesticides. And the manufacturers of tampons and pads are not required to disclose the ingredients they used in their products. (Dr. Mecola) Surprise surprise.

How is this possible? you ask. Pads and tampons are made using a great deal of cotton right? Being a commercially grown crop, cotton is typically grown using GMO seeds and harmful pesticides. In particular, a pesticide called Furan is used to protect cotton crops. This is one of many pesticides that has been linked to thyroid malfunction, infertility, and many other health problems, not to mention reproductive issues. (ANIGAN.com)

And then, “conventional tampons and pads also contain dioxins, synthetic fibers and petrochemical additives.” (ANIGAN.com) Cotton is not naturally pure white, like you see in pads and tampons. As white is the expected color of cleanliness, no one would use a spotted, brownish colored pad or tampon if it was on the market. Therefore, for the same purposes as bleaching rice, sugar and flour, your cotton feminine products are bleached with a product called dioxin.

“Based on research, a short-term exposure to dioxin can cause skin darkening and altered liver function. A woman might be using 6,000 sanitary napkins in her lifetime, and when dioxin accumulates in the body it can cause serious health risks and diseases such as immune system damage, diabetes, hormone dysfunction, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cancer and others.” (ANIGAN.com)

This is scary stuff people.

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Okay. Give Me the Rest of It

Not only do your feminine products include dangerous plastics, GMOs, and pesticides, they also include deodorants, odor neutralizers, and fragrances. This is obvious right? Not only do we expect our pads and tampons to be comfortable and keep us dry, but we want them to keep us odor free during that particularly smelly time of the month. Honestly, if they would cure PMS and make chocolate and ice cream appear on demand, we’d be thrilled, wouldn’t we?

“Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances are nothing short of a chemical soup laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.” (Andrea Donsky, founder of Naturally Savvy and co-author of the book Label Lessons: Your Guide to a Healthy Shopping Cart)

On top of everything else, these chemicals can cause a yeast infection, which can easily lead to other more serious problems quickly, like an overgrowth of staphylococcus aureus bacteria, or more commonly known as Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). “The toxins released by the bacteria can actually cause a sudden drop in your blood pressure which is dangerous because the brain fails to get enough supply of blood. Some symptoms of toxic shock syndrome are dizziness, fever and diarrhea.” (ANIGAN.com)

TSS can be a life-threatening condition, so it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Some other symptoms are low blood pressure, muscle aches, rashes on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet, redness of your eyes, mouth and throat, and seizures. If you experience any of these symptoms while using pads or tampons on your period, seek medical help immediately. (Dr. Mecola)

Your pads and tampons are mainly made of synthetic, man-made materials which purposely blocks wetness from getting out of your underwear. This may sound like a good thing for those that don’t want to experience any bad leakage moments.

However, this holds the wetness against your skin for long periods of time. Just like in a wet baby’s diaper, this wetness encourages bacterial growth. This is just another one of the reasons why women experience severe allergies, rashes, and yeast infections in that delicate area of their bodies.

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Photo by Stephen Oliver on Unsplash

What are My Options Then?

Many women typically irritation and itching, rashes around the uterus, and an increase in period cramps while using pads and tampons, but write these off to having bad periods, or personal, possibly genetic, issues that they may have. However, these are much more common than that. Pads and tampons are bad news for your health and for your fertility.

Fortunately, there are safer alternatives to conventional feminine products. I would consider looking into organic menstrual pads without any plastic materials, organic cotton reusable menstrual pads, period panties, or menstrual cups.

This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

With the last three options, you save money because you aren’t purchasing new pads or tampons over and over again every month, and you can be assured that they are safer for your body. With all of the risks that you are taking by using conventional feminine products, isn’t it worth it to check into some safer options?

Your health is way more important than leaving it to some governmental agency to take care of. Step up, do some research, and make some better decisions when it comes to your fertility. Some other great articles to look into in regards to your fertility are:

Common Birth Control Misconceptions
What You Should Be Doing If You’re Trying to Get Pregnant
Great Foods to Eat When Trying to Conceive
Common Misconceptions About Conception

(I have included a number of fact quotes from many different websites in my article. Most of the information has been paraphrased, or summarized and put into my own words, mixed with my own knowledge and experience. For direct links to all of these articles, see the links within my articles.)

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This article aims to answer the question "Are pads and tampons dangerous for you?" It is true that they are, but how and what can we do about it? I answer those questions for you as well. As scary as these are, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 


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