Let’s forget about *ick* *ick* *eww* *ick* and be a little more embracing of our bodies, shall we?!
After all, it is our amazing reproductive system, and our associated menstrual cycle, which ensures we can have those squishy wee babes of which we are so fond 🙂
Pads and tampons have come a long way from softened papyrus, sponges and rags. The biggest problem now is that, like many supermarket supplies, these products have become hugely over processed and laden with chemicals.
Manufacturers aren’t even required to disclose these ingredients to you!
In addition to convincing you to put chemically loaded pads onto your skin and insert toxic tampons into your body, the marketing gurus of these companies have bought in the *ick* factor of periods, pushing onto society that bleeding is gross and must be disposed of.
Its empowering that more and more women are opting to ignore this commercial rubbish and go natural.
For the women who embrace their periods, they report far less thrush, irritation and cramping when using alternative menstrual products.
Jenna from Oh Natural explains that non-organic feminine hygiene products are commonly made from synthetics, plastics and conventional cotton. “There are massive chemical processes involved in the production of both rayon and polypropylene while conventional cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop in the world, using more than 25% of the world’s total insecticides,” she says.
She runs the beautiful website www.ohnatural.co.nz, and along with organic tampons, deodorants and toothbrushes, has natural superfoods, mum and baby products and beauty products. The cold relief candle is one of my favourites for gentle aromatherapy to easy hideous winter symptoms! (I notice she also has the new Pana chocolate everyone is raving about!!).
Jenna says that the average women uses about 12000 tampons over the course of her lifetime, so that is a lot of exposure to chemicals that are being inserted to the body each month. “Check this article out on our site for more information about the contents of tampons and effects of long term use: http://www.ohnatural.co.nz/vitality/how-hippie-will-you-go”
Jenna has told me that “TOM products are made using the most sustainable, organic, biodegradable materials available, which means that we’re helping the planet from the start. Our cotton is grown in fields that are pesticide free so there is no chemical run off polluting waterways and local communities. In fact, there is not a chemical in sight from the farm to your bathroom, so we’re not contributing to the millions of tons of landfill piling up every year.”
If you’d like to move away from tampons, consider cloth menstrual pads instead. This are made up like cloth nappies, with a soft outer, layers of absorbency, and a waterproof liner. With easy-to-use snaps, you can adjust the fit to your underwear and they are easy to wash and dry as well. Available in liner, medium and heavy absorbency, you’ll find the right one to suit your flow.
Just a warning, like cloth nappies, mama cloth can be a little addictive – what with all the beautiful prints they are made from!
As an alternative to tampons, many women are giving menstrual cups a try. These silicone cups sit just inside the vagina to catch blood flow. A tricky to get the hang of at first, they are easy to insert and remove, and you cant feel it once well fitted. You can exercise and swim, and sleep overnight as well!
The cup is cleaned out and reused, and then stored until the following month. They can last up to 10 years, so that is a significant cost saving (and pollution saving!).
You can buy Mooncups, Divacups and other brands online in NZ as well as in some health shops.
I havent yet tried sea sponges… perhaps another post to come one day 🙂