Health Risks of Feminine Hygiene Products

health risks of feminine hygiene products

Health risks of feminine hygiene products is not a subject that most women talk about, but should! I learned about feminine hygiene products from my girlfriends and not my mother.  My mother was a nurse and we never had a conversation about this.  Things have changed a lot since I was young and yet the lack of good information available to young girls has not.  Mothers are not doing a good job of educating our daughters about the serious health risks associated with the use of tampons and sanitary pads.  This is a subject which should no longer be ignored or kept quiet.

“What You Don’t Know, Won’t Hurt You”

This could be a deadly statement when it applies to the use of tampons.  Tampons have been on the market for approximately 70 years. Finally, there are now studies questioning how feminine hygiene products are made and what toxins they may contain.  Do you know what your tampons are made of?

Materials Used to Make Tampons and SanitaryPads

Cotton is one of the main ingredients used and 94% of the cotton grown in the United States is genetically modified and the crops are treated with pesticides.  The products that contain “odor neutralizing” chemicals, as well as fragrance, can potentially cause infertility, neurological defects, hormone dysfunction, and cancer.  Other conventional tampons and sanitary pads are made with plastics.  Chemicals within the plastic include toxic chemicals, pesticides, and petrochemicals.  These things should not come in contact with the most sensitive skin in your body.  If you won’t eat it then you shouldn’t put it on your skin!

Chlorine bleach is used to make the tampons and sanitary pads a bright white. Dioxins are the by-product of the bleaching process and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes dioxins as a serious threat to public health and determined there is no safe level of exposure.  However, the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that “trace amounts” of dioxins are acceptable and safe!   These chemicals have known links to cancer, heart disease, harm to developing embryos and organ damage.  Who do you want to trust?

Your Skin

Did you know your skin is the largest organ in your body?  Your skin actually breathes and absorbs oxygen as well as anything you apply on it.  The vagina is a very delicate area and anything that comes in contact with the skin can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.  The skin can not tell the difference between toxins and the good stuff, unlike the digestive system which is designed to rid your body of potential toxins.  Toxins absorbed topically accumulate over a lifetime. The average American woman uses up to 16,800 tampons in her lifetime and as many as 24,360 if she is on estrogen replacement therapy.  That doesn’t include sanitary pads or nursing pads.

Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome is a sudden, potentially fatal condition.  It is caused by the release of poisonous substances from an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, which is found in many women’s bodies. Toxic shock syndrome affects menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons.   It has also been linked to women who use sponges, diaphragms, and cervical caps. The body responds with a drop in blood pressure that deprives organs of oxygen and can lead to death.

Should you experience any of these symptoms while using a sanitary product seek medical attention:

  • Sudden high fever
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle aches
  • Rash on palms or soles of feet

To Reduce The Risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome:

  • Avoid super absorbent tampons
  • Never leave a tampon in overnight,  use a pad instead
  • Avoid plastic applicators to avoid scratching the vagina
  • Do not use a tampon between periods
  • Change tampons every 4-6 hours

Choose A Safer Alternative

Fortunately, you do have a choice:

  • Natracare
  • Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Organic Cotton Tampons
  • Diva Cup
  • Glad Rags Organic Pads

In conclusion, you are responsible for your own health and your families.  No one else cares as much as you do.  It is up to you to take control of your health, get educated and make informed decisions. Have a question or comment? I am just an email away!


About Aggie

I am a 60 year old wife, mother of three grown children and two grandchildren. These are some of the things I am passionate about: My God - My Marriage - My Children - My Grandchildren - My Health - My Writing - My Work - My Freedom -

View All Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

20 − 19 =