Twenty-five percent of women who experience vaginitis or vaginal irritation have symptoms of unknown etiology. But isn’t it true that we should feel comfortable with what we put on our bodies and in our bodies? This also applies to feminine care products. Ladies, when we get our period, we don’t need to experience unpleasant symptoms on top of bleeding. I advocate to go green when you see red.
Organic feminine products—there are many options available, and sometimes it only takes this little switch to resolve vaginal symptoms that are unexplained. These symptoms could be vaginal itching, irritation and discomfort. And we all love options—am I right?!
In a woman’s lifetime we get about 400 periods. Multiply that by five days (on average) and that’s 2,000 days of exposure to the researched fact that these chemicals are high endocrine disrupters, allergenic and carcinogenic and can contribute to heavy, irregular periods, endometriosis, cancer, allergic reactions/irritation, disease and/or infection and/or infertility.
Go Green When You See Red
Did you know it takes three pounds of chemicals to make one pound of cotton for feminine care products? Tampons and pads fall under the FDA category of “medical devices” subjecting them to lower standards of unmonitored ingredient safety. But these products are going into our vagina full of lymph glands and blood vessels, creating a habitat of absorbing all those chemicals into our circulatory system. Companies are not required to disclose ingredients in menstrual care products. And studies indicate these unlisted “ingredients” are present in pads and tampons: pesticide residues, dioxins/titanium dioxide (from bleaching process), fragrance chemicals, furans and adhesive chemicals.
You are your best advocate for your vaginal health. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I encourage organic products such as cloth pads, period underwear, organic pads/tampons (Cora is my favorite) or a menstrual cup/flex disc. All are 100% certified organic cotton (be sure to check if it’s made with titanium dioxide; you do not need this bleaching process in your vagina), hypoallergenic, user/earth friendly and readily available. I am seeing a big increase in menstrual cup usage; there are many different types to choose from and women are loving the accessibility, efficiency and affordability of them. Menstrual cups come with many benefits such as being ecofriendly, reusable up to 10 years, have fewer leaks, are cost-efficient and preserve healthy bacteria. There are several types of menstrual cups to choose from, but to start, keep it simple and choose a size according to the chart on the box. The cup is not favored by a lot of women for these potential disadvantages: can be messy, accessibility to clean the cup and insertion can take time. Be sure to wash your hands before and after inserting to avoid introducing bacteria to your vagina.
An average woman bleeds for three to five days, losing two to three tablespoons (or 30-45 mL) of blood during her period. If you’re bleeding for seven or more days and/or losing twice as much, we should chat, but an average woman typically has one to two days of heavier bleeding with spotting around that. And my hope is to increase awareness that something as small as feminine care products can have a huge impact on your vaginal health and, overtime, your overall health.
~ Anne, APRN, CNM, WHNP
Let’s transform together and give you high-quality, personalized health care. Let’s find your full circle.
I’m Anne (pronounced “Annie”), and I am the owner/founder of Full Circle Women’s Health Clinic. I believe women are a full circle, and I strive to provide evidence-based full spectrum women’s health care in a personalized and holistic approach, partnering “with woman” and empowering her to make informed choices for her care. My heart is to give back to my community by offering alternative healthcare options for women. I am a board-certified nurse midwife with master’s degrees from Frontier Nursing University in nurse midwifery and women’s health nurse practitioner.