By Alexandra Cochran
Web Content Contributor
It’s true; women with ovaries bleed. It’s part of the living process and usually happens once a month and continues monthly for the majority of our lives until we reach menopause. The products that we’ve been sold for generations to accommodate this time of the month have proven to be faulty and at times, dangerous. If we can’t stop our periods, how can we stay safe while trying to stay fresh?
With our busy lives we just want convenience and health. There’s countless news stories containing horrific information about women and Toxic Shock Syndrome, and although it can be medicated, most women aren’t even aware of the risk factors involved when they use the standard tampon. Before the tampon, it is said that the Romans would use materials like wool, sponges, grass and vegetable fibers to stay as clean as possible during their menstrual cycles. What the heck are vegetable fibers and what business did it have with our bodies? It wasn’t until the early 1930’s that the tampon was invented. Today, there are many questionable materials that make up tampons. First off, our body is truly organic so we wouldn’t want to disrupt it by inserting anything fragranced or bleached, and many products contain both. Secondly, materials are more likely to grow bacteria if left in your body for longer periods of time, so yes, you should skip the jumbo super absorbent tampons to force yourself to switch it out more frequently throughout the day. “Some tampons and pads do contain cotton, but most contain rayon, a synthetic material. There is some evidence that synthetic fibers can pull too much moisture from the vaginal walls and stick to the soft skin there, leaving tiny synthetic fibers that may increase the risk of TSS, or Toxic Shock Syndrome.”
The good news is, there are safer alternative to keep you healthy and fresh throughout the day!
- The Diva Cup or menstrual cups – these are so amazing and will also save you a bunch of cash through out your life; no need to thank me! (The average woman will use up to 16,000 tampons in the course of their lifetime). You only need one cup! I use the Diva Cup myself, and at first, was entirely intimidated and hesitant because I thought it was way too advanced for me, but truthfully it has changed my life. I’m not kidding ladies. These silicon cups are reusable and I haven’t looked back since last December. There are so many forums online to learn more about how to sanitize your cup after use, and you can also find some cheaper alternatives online through Amazon, too.
- If you’re not the cup kind of girl, there’s such thing as period panties in replace of menstrual pads. Yes. Period underwear, no extra baggage. Say hello to THINX, period-proof underwear. Although I haven’t had the chance to try these out yet, I’ve heard nothing but amazing reviews. I researched a little more about them and found out that they have an amazing cause. The three inventors of THINX travel around the world, and in Africa they recognized that around 100 million girls miss school just because of their periods or what they call it, “week of shame”, putting them so far behind that they end up dropping out. With this information, not only did THINX decide to team up with AFRIpads to donate seven reusable cloth pads to each woman with a purchase of period panties, but they also created jobs for local women to be successful while girls can continue to attend school. THINX is also creating more options such as period-proof leotards. So cool.
Anyone without a menstrual cycle reading this, are you exhausted just from keeping up? There’s plenty of downsides to having a period but there’s also one of the most beautiful upsides (if desired) and that’s the ability to create, nurture and grow a human being inside of your body. Please continue to be mindful of your body and what you put it in, and comment down below if you have used any of these products or know someone who has!
Featured illustration by Erin Garrigan.