It’s no secret that it can be a bit embarrassing and even taboo for some women to talk about their period! However, there’s no way around a woman having to use either a tampon or a pad until she reaches menopause. Personally, I don’t like either of the two but I have a condition that forces me to wear both jointly. It is important for women to take this issue seriously because on average a woman uses more than 12,000 tampons in the life span of her period. Imagine how unhealthy that is, even for our environment!
In a conversation I had with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago, she revealed to me that tampons are toxic and have been linked to cervical cancer among other things. That is when I decided that I would research and share some alternatives to safer tampons. During my research I shockingly found that pads are also toxic. I guess it shouldn’t have really surprised me all that much, but now I feel it is my duty to research and report ALL alternatives.
Life Threatening Pads and Tampons
According to Truthstream Media News, it has been reported through the testing of cotton products that about 90 percent of tampons and pads are so toxic that these products can cause cancer due to glyphosate which is a commonly used herbicide. And Revolution News stated that 85 percent of the cotton products you can find in your local pharmacy or supermarket was found to contain glyphosate. The cotton has also been tested for aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), a derivative of glyphosate in which 62 percent of the sampled cotton came back positive for the toxin as well. These percentages even include cotton balls, gauze, swabs and wipes. I will provide alternatives to other cotton products in another article. This same primary chemical is in Mosanto’s very controversially dangerous Roundup that is used to kill weeds.
Other Toxic Chemicals in Tampons
- Rayon – Unnatural, synthetic fibers such as viscose rayon adds more absorbency to pads and tampons. Toxins such as carbon hydroxide, sulfuric acid and carbon disulfide are used in the process of manufacturing this chemical. These chemicals can potentially be very hazardous left inside of the body. If the rayon absorbent fibers from the tampon stick to the vaginal wall it could cause irritation and raise the risk of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
- Chlorine Dioxide – Stark white pads and tampons are most likely bleached with chlorine. What the bleaching process creates is the most dangerous part. The unhealthy chemical is a by-product called dioxin which is linked to serious illnesses due to it being a toxic carcinogen. It is also linked to possible infertility because dioxide is an endocrine disrupter.
- Polyethylene & Polypropylene – In laments terms these words basically mean plastic which are potential skin irritants. Thermoplastic polymers are also hazardous to our environment which is something to think about next time you throw away a pad or flush a tampon down the toilet.
Scared yet? Well, if you have used GMO tampons and/or pads at any point in your life; it is recommended that women should detox. Here’s how:
Vaginal Steaming Detox
- Boil 1 gallon of filtered water.
- Add organic dried or fresh rosemary, lavender, oregano, basil, yarrow, lemon balm and calendula.
- Add 1 cup of dried herbs or 3 cups of fresh herbs.
- Boil for 10 minutes and steep for 5 minutes.
- Pour mixture into a bowl.
- Sit over the bowl and a slatted chair with no underwear.
- Use a towel to create a tent over the bowl.
- Steam your vagina and the surrounding areas for 20-45 minutes.
- Do this at the end of your period and make sure you are not pregnant!
Herbs for Vaginal Steaming Detox
- Organic Yarrow — Click here to get on amazon.
- Organic Lemon Balm — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Organic Calendula — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Organic Rosemary — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Organic Lavender — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Organic Oregano — Click here to get it on amazon.
Pad and Tampon Alternatives
Ultimately, it is important that you don’t stick toxic chemicals and fibers into your body and you also don’t want it festering in your underwear touching your skin either. The good news is that there are alternatives that are safe and cost effective. Some of these alternatives are also reusable and recyclable, which is also better for our environment.
Reusable and Eco-Friendly Options
If you choose to use reusable and eco-friendly alternatives for your five to seven days of bleeding it means that you are not only concerned about your health but also our earth’s health. Most of these products will have you wondering why you used the conventional products in the first place. Well, I am sure most likely it is because you didn’t know about them, but that is what I am here for!
- Cloth Pads – Most of these pads are made with bamboo fiber or charcoal bamboo fiber lining. You will want to choose pads that come with wet bags to use when you put them in the washing machine. It is also recommended that you use an all natural feminine spray or mist such as this ylang ylang feminine mist, click here to get it on amazon. After reading reviews, I have discovered that women find these more comfortable than the toxic pads and that you can barely feel them. Also, you can wear these up to 8 hours depending on your flow. One reusable cloth pad is the equivalent to over 100 disposable toxic pads which will save you loads of money. The best pad brands to buy are:
- Period-Mate Reusable Pads (Menstrual Bamboo-charcoal Lining with a Wet Bag) — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Maiden Reusable Pads (Antibacterial Bamboo Lining – Small, Medium and Large) — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Heart Felt Reusable Menstrual Pads (Bamboo Charcoal lining – Medium Flow) — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Hesta Reusable Pads (Slim Organic Cotton) — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Wegreeco Reusable Pads (Antibacterial Bamboo Lining – medium) — Click here to get it on amazon.
- Wegreeco Reusable Sanitary Pads (Large & Long) — Click here to get it on amazon.
- THINX Period Panties – Yes, you read it right, period panties. We all have the famous “old black panties” that we wear with a pad or tampon but this is not what these panties are. THINX created panties that are leak-proof. It is similar to swimwear material. I read a case study about a woman who tried different types of the THINX panties for heavy to light days out of the week to see how they would hold up. Surprisingly, the panties held up better than she expected! So if you are feeling brave, go to SheThinx.com and try them out!! A big plus is that you have 60 days to try these panties out in the case that you don’t like them.
- Menstrual Cups – If you despise pads, menstrual cups are flexible, bell-shaped inserts that are made out of medical grade silicone that you put into your vagina similar to how you insert a diaphragm. The cup collects the blood instead of absorbing it. Menstrual cups come in various different sizes, types and brands. It is your age, the position of your cervix and the size of your cervix that will determine what kind of cup that will work best for you. Keep in mind, if you have endured childbirth this could change what type of cup you need. I have used these cups but I found them to be messy especially when you pull it out. I know it’s my own blood but it makes me feel gross. However, if cups were my only alternative to the chemical tampons I have used in the past, I would get over my blood issue in a heart beat and just make sure to insert and extract the cup in the tub. Some women also think they are too heavy for these cups but that is why there are different sizes of cups. There are cups with stems to help you put them in and take them out of the vagina. Many women that use these cups say that they hold more than a tampon; therefore, you can wear one for 8 hours and still feel like you can go longer. After 12 hours, the cup may begin to smell; therefore, most of the companies will have “up to 12 hours” on the product packaging. Below are two diagrams on how you are supposed to insert the cups with three folding options.
Depending on your size and preferences here are the best various cups to choose from:
- LENA Feminine Hygiene Cup (Small, Normal Flow) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- LENA Feminine Hygiene Cup (Small & Large) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- Lunette Menstrual Cup (Light to Medium Flow) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- Lunette Menstrual Cup (Medium to Heavy Flow) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- Diva Cup (For Every Flow) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- Diva Cup (Combo Pack) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- Blossom Menstrual Cup (Small & Large) – Click here to get it on amazon.
- Reusable Tampons – If you are comfortable with using a tampon without an applicator then using crochet (cotton or bamboo yarn), knit or cloth tampons would be a much safer alternative to the chemical infested ones. You can find the crocheted ones made for you of course but both cloth and crocheted tampons I have seen are a “roll it yourself” type of tampon. Both types have a string which makes it easier to pull it out. Look out for the ones that say 100 percent cotton fleece. Researching for examples of these, I have seen women that just decided to make them on their own. There are numerous of YouTube videos teaching women how to easily make them, if that is the route you choose. I have even seen them with hemp silk using organic cotton balls to stuff the tampon with. And yes, you can wash these, but the crocheted ones are said to be harder to clean! You can find these tampons easily at etsy.com.
IMPORTANT: If you decide to find more options for reusable inserts, you will find articles suggesting that sea sponges are a great option. According to Dr. Gunter and the FDA, sea sponges are quite unsafe because they are found to have been contaminated with sand, grit, bacteria and other harmful materials from the sea. There is also one sample that was tested positive for the bacteria that causes TSS, called Staphylococcus Aureus. Even if you wash or attempt to disinfect the sea sponge, it is not guaranteed that you will get it all out. You also wouldn’t want take a chance in getting abrasions inside as you insert it or extract it.
Chemical-Free Organic Disposable Tampons
There are various different brands of tampons and pads that are nontoxic. Additionally, the tampons come with an applicator and a string. If you have tried the other two types of reusable inserts and still feel like the traditional tampon is more appropriate for you, then try the following brands:
- Lola – Lola’s tampons are 100 percent organic cotton and biodegradable. They deliver these tampons in a discreetly stylish box—sometimes that matters to us girls. I personally prefer these because they come with a BPA-free applicator. However, Lola also has a non-applicator tampon option for those who do not care to use one. You can buy them at MyLola.com.
- Veeda – This company takes pride in providing a hypoallergenic cotton with no dyes, along with, the product being non toxic. These tampons also come with an applicator. You can buy these in regular, super and super plus on amazon by clicking here.
- Natracare – You can buy these nontoxic organic cotton tampons with an applicator on Amazon by clicking here.
- ORGANYC – If you are in a rush and don’t have time to buy tampons online, you can also buy ORGANYC at Walgreens. The only brand I have found thus far that you can get offline! However, if you would still like to buy these tampons online, you can do so at by clicking here if you have a light flow.
- BPA & Dioxine Free Silicone Menstrual Cup – Click here to get it on amazon.
Now introducing the all natural and safe pads:
- Natracare pads are 84 percent natural plant based material and nine percent with a 100 percent certified organic cotton cover which touches the skin. Click here to get it on amazon. and click here to get natracare pads with wings, these are just a couple you can try. However, there are also tampons for overnight, light days, medium days and heavy days.
- NatraTouch are Texas-made organic cotton pads. Check out these ultra thin large pads on Amazon by clicking here.
- Seventh Generation provides a chemical-free pad with no-slip adhesive and a cloth-like cover. You can find them on amazon by clicking here. you can scroll down and pick the + option to buy pads for overnight, heavy and light days.
I hope that you find the best product for your menstrual needs. It isn’t an easy time of the month but to make the choice to use natural products means you care about your health and our environment. If you have painful cramps like me, you may even start to experience less painful periods. Anyway, comments are welcome if you have tried any of or all of these alternatives. Feel free to let us know what your favorite brands and preferred product to use!
Also, sign this petition if you want to help stop Monsanto from killing us with the toxin glyphosate!
I had some trouble with veeda and leakage but they sell them at bartells. I used them until I found Lola. I think having them delivered and not forgetting to buy them is worth a few extra dollars a box. Great article.
Hi Stephanie! Thanks for your response to this article. You actually gave me info that I can add to this article. Being sent tampons in a timely fashion is worth the money and also something people should know about Lola. I am pretty heavy as well so Veeda also would not work for me. I found some all natural feminine products at CVS that I had to get last minute because ordering them would not be enough time. I have found that the All Natural CVS pads absorb more than the pads that have chemicals in them. I am not sure if all pads that are all natural are like that but it makes me question why there was a need for feminine products to have such toxic chemicals in them in the first place.
My name is Kimmarie Barlow and I am a co-founder of Nspire I have found your article to be most interesting and I would welcome speaking to you about our new product Cherish. Please contact me at your earliest. TIA
Wow Kimmarie (pretty name)! I never thought of the adhesive possibly also being toxic. This is so amazing that you created a pad with safe cotton AND adhesive. Now, I wish I researched far enough to find and add your pads to my article. I will do that this week this as an update of this article. Thank you for this additive information. Sharing is caring. I will contact you this week on the pricing of your product. Happy Monday!