Do I really need organic tampons?
New period brand Scarlet weighs in.
We chat to new brand Scarlet about the benefits of switching to organic cotton tampons & why it’s a better transition for your health & wellbeing.
You’re probably used to heading to the shops and just grabbing any old pack of tampons, usually reaching for the prettiest packaging without a second thought. Now a lot of us are becoming more conscious of our health, it’s a good time to question the products we’re putting inside our vagina. Starting with tampons.
Why is it important to go organic?
Regular tampons may look cute and colourful, however, the cotton and materials used to manufacture these tampons often contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to our vaginal health. Most generic tampons are made of synthetic materials such as rayon and polyester, these fibres are usually highly processed and can contain microplastics.
Other common irritants included in regular tampons include (1):
- Dioxins and furans (byproducts of bleaching), can be endocrine disrupting
- Pesticide residue (endocrine disrupting)
- Plastics (endocrine disrupting and non-biodegradable)
- Coatings such as paraffin, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol and more
- Fragrances that are often undisclosed (endocrine disrupting and can cause allergic reactions)
The vagina is extremely absorbent, picture it like a sponge. This is due to the intricate abundance of arteries, blood vessels and lymphatic cells present in the walls of the vagina. Being sponge-like, the vagina is able to absorb whatever chemicals and by-products that are entering it. The importance of minimising your exposure to toxins in the vagina is obvious as these products can be potentially harmful to our health, especially with the frequency in which we use them i.e. if you use tampons for five days of your 28 day cycle, that equates to almost a quarter of your life! Crazy right?
What are the potential risks of using non-organic tampons?
Chemical exposure tends to accumulate, with the relative amount of exposure often equating to the harm being done. As mentioned, the amount of time we use tampons each month can be significant so it is important to consider this exposure. Not only can this exposure have negative effects on the tissue of the vaginal walls but the toxins can also disrupt hormones and cause inflammation (2). Some studies have cited heavy metals such as mercury found accumulated in the bodies of those who used non-organic tampons regularly as well as oxidative stress which can lead to inflammatory damage (2).
Endocrine disruptors and heavy metals can significantly interfere with hormone levels and lead to menstrual cycle issues such as painful periods, irregular periods, PCOS, endometriosis, dyspareunia and even infertility. This accumulation of chemicals can also interfere with liver detoxification and function. When looking to encourage hormonal harmony, it is often an important consideration to lower your exposure to toxins and chemicals that interfere with endocrine function, so prioritising organic tampons can be a great easy step.
Why choose organic cotton tampons?
Organic tampons are absolutely the new standard for period care, if you tend to live a healthy low toxin lifestyle, eat well, and spend money on good skincare - making the switch to organic cotton tampons is a no brainer. Scarlet tampons are one of the few brands that use 100% GOTS certified organic cotton which means they’re independently given the tick of approval. GOTS certification also means that Scarlet organic cotton tampons meet standards for economic and social responsibility which is another no-brainer in 2022.
If you haven’t made the switch to organic yet, what are you waiting for?
Brooke Oke - Naturopath
Brooke Oke has practiced as a Registered Nurse specialising in mental health for almost a decade and also has a Bachelor of Health Science (BHSc). Her personal health issues inspired her to make the switch from nursing to naturopathy. When she was a teenager she suffered from chronic endometriosis, gut issues and depression and it wasn’t until she found naturopathic medicine that she was able to take control of her health and wellbeing. Brooke has her own naturopathy practice, Goodkind Naturopathy, and has a special interest in the digestive system, skin health, hormonal and immune complaints, and endocrine issues.