I think of myself as the average girl who was wildly interested in the impending changes of my body. I couldn’t wait to become a woman, and I spent lots of time reading about all that would entail, and calling the 1-800 numbers for my free tampon and pad samples.
I’ll never forget the moment it finally arrived. At this point I had been checking my underwear every time I went to the bathroom for what was likely a couple years. I wasn’t at home, so my Mom kindly showed up with some pads. I remember a slightly strange feeling that they weren’t tampons.
By day two I had moved on to tampons, and never looked back until nearly 10 years later.
At the age of 22, I learned about options beyond pads and tampons and began to learn about how horrible tampons really are.
I want to share with you all the reasons why you should never wear them. Ever. Keep in mind that I share this not because I've had any direct issue or health concern with them, but because I think every woman should know the truth about how unhealthy tampons really are.
1. They can cause a serious disease.
Toxic shock syndrome warnings aren't just there as a "just in case" plan. This is a very real disease that can take the lives of young girls and women, all for the sake of tending to something as natural as menstruation. Though the culprit is typically young girls who aren’t changing their tampon often enough, or who are wearing a much higher absorbency than they need, why take that risk?
2. They stop the downward flow of your blood.
Blood is meant to flow down and out. Not get soaked up my chemical-filled cotton.
3. They are filled with crap and chemicals.
The two scariest chemicals in tampons are rayon and dioxin, and bits of these chemicals are often left behind in your vagina, as well as bits of the genetically modified cotton they are made with. It’s also terribly dangerous to have these chemicals so close to your cervix each and every month!
4. They dry out your vagina.
The ideal vagina is a beautifully pH-balanced, self-cleansing, optimally functioning part of a woman’s body. Introduce a tampon and it sucks that natural moisture dry. This pH imbalance mess is often breeding ground for yeast infections and vaginal infections.
5. They make cramps worse.
That moisture-sucking piece of cotton doesn’t conform naturally to your vagina’s shape, adding to the discomfort of your vagina, and irritating or even causing cramps.
6. The landfills are flooded with them.
For one minute, really consider our earth and the millions and millions of tampons that get thrown away or flushed into our waterways. Not only is that a lot of space we're taking up, but it’s also a ton of chemicals we're leeching into the earth.
But what are my alternatives, you ask? Standard, chemical-filled pads aren’t much better and I’d like to propose a new idea. Reusable menstrual products. There are a ton of menstrual cups on the market now that can give you all the convenience (and more) of a tampon, without the healthful harm on your precious and beautiful body. Using reusables will also save you a ton of money and make you have the happiest vagina on the block, not to mention you’ll always have supplies on hand, saving you those last-minute trips to the store. They’ll help change your relationship with your menstrual cycle and your body, helping you to stop treating it like an inconvenience, meant to be plugged up and ignored.
At the very least, if you are insistent on using tampons, please buy organic tampons. They cost a bit more, but save oodles on your health! There are even some awesome companies offering monthly delivery of organic tampons.
Please, do your health and your vagina a favor. Throw your tampons into your next bonfire (or maybe don’t burn those chemicals?) and keep that vagina the moist and optimally functioning place it’s meant to be.