Good for the earth, good for your vagina: A sustainable menstrual hygiene guide
Hi lovely readers! This week’s post is a guest post by organic wellness guru Deja Cronley, who blogs at DejaVuOrganics.com. If you like this post, be sure to check out her blog!
I was with a friend of mine a few years ago getting lunch at Whole Foods and she mentioned it was time for a new menstrual cup. Hers was about ten years old and it was starting to show signs of needing to be replaced.
I was only about two months into my organic lifestyle journey so I had no clue what she was talking about, but going with her exposed me to a whole other way of managing that lovely time of month.
Organic tampons (which now make complete sense but I had never even thought about), reusable menstrual pads, menstrual cups—there were all kind of sustainable, organic options to consider. That evening I went home and did a bit of research before ordering some reusable pads myself.
Chemical exposure in areas there shouldn’t be
Since everything we touch or put into our bodies gets absorbed, it is especially important to be aware of the possible effects of having chemicals so close to our reproductive organics. The vaginal tissue is very absorbent, so it makes sense that everything placed in the area can have an effect on what goes on down there.
Most conventional tampons and menstrual pads are made from conventionally grown cotton which is often genetically engineered and grown with pesticides. They are often covered in plastic containing BPA and then bleached. All of these chemicals can have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and infertility.
Toxin-free menstrual products
Switching to organic and reusable products is an easy but highly effective way to prevent toxin exposure to one of the most absorbent areas or our bodies. Many women have reported lighter, less painful periods after they stopped using conventional products (and a few reported the same effects when they stopped using tampons in general).
Here are some sustainable menstrual products:
- Menstrual cups: Menstrual cups are reusable and usually made of silicone. I did try two different brands of menstrual cups because the first one was a bit pinchy (for lack of a better word). But I have had my current cup for about three years now with no problems. Check out this guide to learn which brand may be the best for you.
Note from Cat: I use a menstrual cup and haven’t looked back since! The learning curve is high, but well worth it because you can leave it in and forget about it, without worrying about TSS like with tampons. I also haven’t spent a penny on tampons or pads since I started using my Diva Cup, which was $25…so it’s quite a money saver, too.
- Organic tampons: Organic tampons are made of organic cotton, which contain less pesticides and toxins than conventionally grown cotton.
- Reusable pads: Reusable pads made of cloth that you can wash and reuse.
- SheThinx undies: SheThinx underwear are reusable, absorbent underwear. There are different styles which hold different amounts of fluid in a handy little chart so you can order the pair that is right for you. They’re washable and reusable. It looks like the upfront costs are a bit steep but from the three women I talked to, they definitely feel like it’s a great investment.
- Sea sponge tampons: Sea sponges tampons are exactly what they sound like—tampons made out of sea sponges. In all honesty, before researching for this article I had never heard of them but I was able to find a few reviews and almost all were favorable. I told my husband a box would be good as a Christmas stocking stuffer (yeah, I’m that person who gets excited enough to ask for tampons for Christmas because I’m excited to try something new haha). If you want to read more on sea sponge tampons, check out this article about them on The Humbled Homemaker.
Making the switch
Switching from conventional menstrual products to natural menstrual products can take a little bit of adjustment and trial and error. Some tampons may absorb at a different rate, you may have to find the right size or brand of menstrual cups (some are more firm than others), or you may have to try a couple of different reusable pad sizes before finding the right one.
However, the benefits of making such a switch, including decreasing the chemicals you are exposed to and limiting the amount of waste we send to landfills, are immeasurable and definitely makes it worth it!
What about you? Do you currently use any reusable or natural menstrual products? If so, and you’ve comfortable sharing, post your experience below!
Deja Cronley is a Registered Nurse turned Blogger. She fell in love with natural living four years ago and has dedicated herself to educating others about organics. She loves Crossfit, the beach, and playing with her kids. Read more about organic, non-toxic living at DejaVuOrganics.com.
If you’d like to guest blog for Restitchstance, shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com!
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