Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD). The tactic of scaring young women into tampon-consciousness is obvious, and this certainly is a serious health issue, but it is a rare occurrence. The pH balance describes the balance of acidity and alkaline in your vagina, and an imbalanced pH can lead to yeast and bacterial infections. There tends to be little bit of a learning curve when it comes to using soft cups, so it is often advised that you first start trying them out on lighter days of your period at first. Very similar in concept to a menstrual cup, a soft cup could be described as diaphragm-like: it involves a piece of cellophane-like plastic stretched across a flexible plastic loop. With an increased volume of trash going to landfill, increased decomposition time for these plastic components, and the increased negatives of the production process it may make sense to change for environmental reasons. I feel like I've been very misinformed about tampons in the past so I have a lot of hang ups about them even though I prefer them. Anita Sadaty, MD, is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at North Shore University Hospital and founder of Redefining Health Medical. Read our, Medically reviewed by Jessica Shepherd, MD, Medically reviewed by Monique Rainford, MD, Medically reviewed by Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc. There have been a number of widespread concerns about the materials used in tampons and their manufacturing process. If you are going to use tampons, you should know that they are safe when used properly. Examples of such companies are Thinx and Knic Wear. Yes, tampons are perfectly safe. This article is going to take you through very real risk of tampon use and how you might get around this issue. The most obvious and well-known alternative to the tampon, though perhaps commonly thought of as inferior. As they’re not inserted much more than an inch into the body, and they’re holding menstrual blood, extended use can contribute to development of unpleasant smells. Here are seven reasons why we should all care more about what goes into our tampons, pads, and other menstrual products. What if you were to not use any sanitary products at all during your period? This option also doesn’t take you too far away from you comfort zone: you don’t have to forego pads or tampons, just switch to the reusable versions. Some spices. Tampons are a convenient option for many women. Numerous organic tampons brands exist on the market, you need only make the effort to look that little bit further. This is especially true for scented tampons which can cause swelling, rashes, and general irritation. Tampons found in: Tampax(R) Pocket Radiant Tampons, 3-ct. There are a few things to keep in mind to prevent problems.. Menstrual sponges will come with instructions containing details of cleaning the sponge for the first time before its use, soaking it and checking it for “hard surfaces” which should be removed before using it for the first time. If you are still concerned, consider buying an organic option. Do they have any risk of infections? In general, tampons are very safe, but it's imperative that they are used properly. There is a possibility that inserting an object into the vagina whist menstruating can increase the frequency and intensity of uterine contractions and increased cramping. Is Toxic Shock Syndrome Really a Threat for Tampon Users? Frankly, we’re confused about why they were ever created. This means you are heading to the bathroom while you’re using them, nor do you need to buy new ones more than once a year (providing you take care of your menstrual cup and wash it properly). Are they safe? Be Prepared with Maxi Pads & Tampons from Dollar General. If you or a loved one uses them, it's important to use them safely. Obviously, your period doesn’t need any help being uncomfortable! She can be found in the kitchen cooking up healthy treats! Vostral S. Toxic shock syndrome, tampons and laboratory standard-setting. Dollar Tree is under fire for stocking “potentially unsafe drugs” and cosmetics. They may also contain bisphenol-S (BPS)—which you’ll find in many BPA-free products and which might be just as dangerous as BPA—the chemical just hasn’t been researched as much. This process results in the formation of dioxins which has been linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, and immune system suppression. Learn the basics. This makes them unpleasant and impractical, requiring many changes a day for most women. Brands such as GladRags and Lunapads create washable cloth pads that even feature cute designs. Yes, there are organic cotton tampons out there and companies like LOLA who disclose how their products are made—and shout-out to them for existing! What if your pads and tampons were reusable? The menstrual cup is simple: a flexible plastic cup is pinched in half and inserted into the vagina, where, when released, it unfolds and creates a tight seal. You should probably be more concerned about the chemicals in tampons or throwing off your pH balance than the rare possibility of TSS. SKIP THAT: Baking soda Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome. The first menstrual cup was patented in 1937, but the device didn’t become popular until as recently as the past decade. Menstrual blood is not the most pleasant substance and can develop a distinctly bitter, metallic odor. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):9942. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28116-3, Vostral S. Toxic shock syndrome, tampons and laboratory standard-setting. Softs cups are potentially less wasteful than pads and tampons, and an easy introduction into getting comfortable with the idea of using something a little bit less familiar. Ahh, the dollar store. Both carry period panties in designs ranging from athletic undies to sexy lingerie. Organic tampons will normally use 100% organic cotton and nothing else, so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. There have been consumer concerns raised about the use of chlorine in this process. While you can easily score cheap party decorations and glass bowls at the dollar store, it can be tough to know what is and isn’t a good deal when it … Tampons with plastic applicators, for example, cause even more wastage. Brands such as Divacup and Lunette have hit stores and helped to pull this menstrual product further into the forefront of public view. Tampons are a convenient option for many women. A no-brainer – when your period arrives, you reach for the box of tampons in the back of the medicine cabinet and continue about your day. Low-quality tampons may also be made of a fabric than is unpleasant and a poor-quality tampon can easily result in excessive dryness of the vagina which makes chafing and infection more likely. Pads are also safe for overnight use, as there is no risk of TSS if used for longer than 8 hours, making them a great choice for protection while you sleep. Menstrual Tampons and Pads: Information for Premarket Notification Submissions (510(k)s) - Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff. Not only do reusable menstrual products help save the environment, they also help you save money. For most of us, there’s not much to think about. But the most popular tampons on store shelves (especially fragranced ones) are composed of chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins that the EPA calls “probable human carcinogens” aka sh*t that’s poss unsafe for the human body. Is it actually safe to only use tampons on your period? Packs, Ladies let go of some stress you may have over your monthly cycle and grab these pocket-sized tampons. These companies believe that women shouldn’t be exposed to pesticide residues, phthalates, ado-dyes and dioxins, especially in such a sensitive and absorptive part of the body. For many women who choose to free bleed, the answer for why tends to be three-fold: they don’t like the feeling of wearing pads or tampons, they want to help the environment by avoiding disposable products, and they want to normalize menstruation, forcing society to get comfortable with the fact the women bleed from their vaginas. But they certainly are very good for the environment and your wallet. The sponge can be trimmed to the ideal size and shape by cutting along its perimeter with scissors. There is no hard evidence to say that tampons make cramps worse, but they can sometimes cause swelling which might cause or exaggerate menstrual cramps. Here are 7 items that you may want to stop buying at the dollar store: 1. The soft cup will catch the period blood and hopefully prevent leaks for a longer duration of time than your average tampon. Money has been kind of tight lately so when I went to Target today and got their store brand version of the Tampax Pearl and am not sure if I like them all that much. The sponge will be inserted much like a tampon (maybe with slightly more difficulty due to the lack of applicator and the general increased bulkiness). Complex ecological interactions of Staphylococcus aureus in tampons during menstruation. 3. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is caused by an infection of either Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. These bacteria already live on the surface of your skin, and they protect your skin from other infections. Here’s the Perfect Paleo Breakfast Smoothie, 3 Satisfying Homemade Keto Chili Recipes You Need to Know, This Paleo Chicken Casserole is What (Food) Dreams Are Made Of, The Yummiest Keto Breakfast Burrito You’ll Ever Eat, A Nutritious and Absolutely Delicious Paleo Breakfast Sausage Recipe, One Slice Isn’t Enough of This Keto Cheesecake, Creative & Easy-to-Make Avocado Dessert Recipes, 5 Surprisingly Tasty Vegan Gluten Free Desserts, 401 Congress Avenue, Suite 1540, Austin, TX, 78701, © WellMe.com | [email protected]me.com | Return Policy, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623801001344, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc1240689/, http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=376757, The V-Word: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Vaginal Health, Every 30-Year-Old Woman Needs to Read These 12 Health & Life Tips, 7 Simple Ways to Relieve Urinary Tract Infections. This billion-dollar business is the result of women using tampons monthly. The number one argument for tampons and against pads is … Some strategies are better than others dependent on the context – if you’re working at the office, free-bleeding may not be a great choice, for example. If inserted incorrectly, tampons can cause discomfort and further exaggerate the pain associated with menstruation. There is even a ‘smart’ menstrual cup called LOONCUP that will tell you when it needs to be changes, if you prefer to be a bit more tech-savvy with your vagina. This Dollar Shave Club For Tampons Can Save Women $3,000 ... You run out and then you're rushing to the store under stress, or you're getting your partner to rush to the store to buy you tampons. Tampons are easy to use, convenient, and effective. Photo by Josefin. Do not store your tampons in the bathroom long-term. Discover These Tampon Tips and Tricks for New Users, Here Are Some Helpful Tips on How to Remove a Stuck Tampon, Facts and Info That Teen Girls Should Know About Having Periods, Discover How to Choose the Best Tampons, Pads, Menstrual Cups for You, Why the FDA Doesn't Approve of Use of Piracetam, Helpful Hints for Dealing With Your Period, 5 Things Girls May Wonder About When They Start Menstruating, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, The Facts on Tampons—and How to Use Them Safely, Toxic shock syndrome, tampons and laboratory standard-setting, Menstrual Tampons and Pads: Information for Premarket Notification Submissions (510(k)s) - Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff, Complex ecological interactions of Staphylococcus aureus in tampons during menstruation, Toxic shock syndrome, tampons and laboratory standard-setting. The materials used in tampons don't cause TSS, but high-absorbency tampons are associated with an increased risk (more below)., There are concerns that dioxin, a pollutant found in the environment, could be present in the cotton or rayon used in tampons, potentially causing endometriosis. Thankfully, socially responsible companies are producing safe alternatives. The idea of the pad is a pretty simple one, however the absorbent power of our current pads is such that they can absorb an awful lot more than you think! Women purchase more than 11,000 tampons in their lifetime, according to the National Center for Health Research. doi:10.1503/cmaj.161479. doi:10.1503/cmaj.161479. Organic Pads and Tampons Both traditional pads and tampons, the ones you would commonly find on supermarket and … Even worse than simple irritation, scented tampons can throw off your vaginas natural pH balance. Overall, tampons seem to be a major financial and environmental burden that you may want to avoid. But, some side effects, as well as serious complications, can occur as a result of tampon use. April 3, 2019. The Facts on Tampons—and How to Use Them Safely. Like the menstrual cup, you pinch a soft cup in half, slide it in, let it unfold, then push up the front of the plastic loop up so it rests behind your pelvic bone, creating a tight seal. Why You Should Never Eat Store-Bought Dressings (Plus 5 Healthy Alternatives), Think Parkour is Just For Men? Menstruation is an uncomfortable time of the month as it is. The long-term effects of bleached chlorine haven’t been studied closely or extensively enough to be viewed as safe to insert into your vagina! The average woman produces a total of 62,415 pounds of garbage from menstrual products over her lifetime and will spend over $18,000 buying them. However, they can invade the body's bloodstream, causing a life-threatening infection. I knew I’d have a heavy night, so I stacked two tampons: basically, rolled them up together, which is safe to do. Along those same lines, don’t buy the biggest, most absorbent one you can find so you can leave it in longer. Not only is a lot of wastage involved in tampon usage in general with many women using dozens in a regular month, but certain types of tampon have even greater environmental problems. Brand name spices are one of 18 things that can break your grocery budget, so I always assumed that the $1 spices from Dollar Tree were a bargain.. “Tampons are safe. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Your vagina is a sensitive place and any foreign object can irritate it. This isn’t so much a health risk as an inconvenience, but tampons can cause odor. The results showed that dioxin levels ranged from non-detectable to one part in 3 trillion, and the FDA has determined that dioxin at this extremely low level does not pose a health risk., Bleaching is required to purify wood pulp and retrieve the cellulose fibers that make rayon. A downside to using a menstrual sponge is plausibly that you might find it a little bit cumbersome and messy to get out. Free bleeding is a fast-increasing trend. Despite their availability and common use, tampons have some negative side effects – side effects that you probably never even knew about, or possibly just chose not to think about. The regulations regarding tampon materials and production provide reassurance that the tampons sold in stores in the United States are safe to use. Both traditional pads and tampons, the ones you would commonly find on supermarket and drug store shelves, contain added chemicals. By Tess Francke. What alternatives exist to help you out on a month basis? Dear Kate even makes yoga pants you can wear without pads or underwear! Are Tampons Safe? Follow basic hygiene rules - wash your hands (duh; it’s blood), and don’t leave it in too long. These chemicals include harsh pesticides and chemicals such as chlorine. Get Feminine Pads & Products From Dollar General. When storing tampons, place them in a cool, dry location. If you use tampons, buy the organic, unbleached kind, which have not been treated by chemicals and contain only ONE ingredient: organic cotton. This is far more practical, reduces environmental waste, and totally removes the possibility of TSS – especially if you tend to forget about your tampon. But since most people don’t plan their holidays quite that far in advance, the dollar store is a great place to save money on these items year-round. Updated November 4, 2015. 2. "The FDA regulates both the safety and effectiveness of tampons," says Dr. Hakakha, "and despite recent claims in the media that tampons leach chemicals such as asbestos and dioxin, to date there are no studies indicating tampons are contaminated with either chemical. If your flow is very heavy then wear a pad just to be on the safe side. Are You Changing Your Pads and Tampons Often Enough? Use of chlorine can lead to a dioxin byproduct, so tampons sold in the United States are required to use a chlorine-free bleaching process.. So now you know the truth about tampons, what can you do to avoid these negatives? Made from real sponges (sea sponges harvested from the ocean) they can be washed and reused for up to 6 months. And while they are still a fringe option, there are also reusable tampons for sale, albeit in more niche places such as Etsy. 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