When its that time of the month you need to find protection that is not only reliable but is also safe.
Choosing which menstrual product to use with endometriosis usually comes down to finding the most reliable protection which you can rely on. This is especially true for those who have very heavy periods and find themselves taking constant trips to the bathroom.
As well as reliability, you also need to take in account the safety of any products you use. There are also other factors like comfort, cost and practicality. But ultimately you need to be taking your health into consideration.
Many modern menstrual products are full of toxins and chemicals which can increase your symptoms and may also increase your pain. Many are now swapping over to natural products and are happy to have made the change.
It is also worth noting that many modern period products are not very biodegradable and can take a staggering 250 to 500 years to biodegrade. This is another reason to be looking for safe and more natural alternatives.
The Problem with Conventional Menstrual Products
Conventional menstrual products pose a problem for women’s health because they are full of harmful chemicals. Whether using tampons or pads, many of the products on the shelves contain ingredients like bleach, *dioxins, furans and even pesticide residues. You are then wearing these products close to your skin on the most delicate part of your body.
* Its worth noting - some authorities feel that dioxins may be responsible for the cause of endometriosis.
These chemicals that are found in feminine hygiene products have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues and hormone disruption. There are other chemicals that have been found in certain products and they seem too numerous to mention here. Suffice to say, these products are very toxic.
The synthetic materials used to make these products, like plastics and rayon, are often bleached, and contain residue of pesticides and herbicides. Additional toxins are used in production like chlorine, deodorants, fragrances, and glues. These products can contribute to cancer and hormone imbalances.
Some of the chemicals in period products include:
These harmful chemicals can really disrupt your hormones and nervous system. Introducing these chemicals into your system when suffering endometriosis is like throwing fuel onto the fire. Your hormones are already thrown out of whack and adding these chemicals and toxins into your system will only make matters worse.
Problem with tampons
Tampon fibers are often bleached, so they can alter the natural pH of your vagina. They also affect the tissue elasticity of your vagina, so stopping the use of tampons can help to keep your skin healthy and elastic. Additionally, tampons can be very irritating and drying, which can become very uncomfortable. Because they can contribute to yeast growth, tampons can make cases of Candida worse.
What are your alternatives
Thankfully, there are many alternative options to conventional menstrual products. Choosing more natural menstrual products is safer and much healthier for your body. Reducing the amount of chemicals in your body can help to reduce the symptoms of endometriosis, especially if those chemicals mimic estrogen in your body.
Alternative Natural Menstrual Products
You do not have to radically change your products – just opting for more natural alternatives. If you want to continue using tampons you can buy organic products instead. However, it has been found by some women with endometriosis, that when they stop using tampons and use pads instead, then they actually have less pain.
There are options you can use including organic pads, menstrual cups or reusable cloth pads.
Organic Cotton Tampons
Organic tampons look and act the same as non-organic ones, but they don’t contain harmful chemicals. They are unbleached and made using organic cotton without cancer-causing additives like plastics, glues, pesticides, fragrances, or chlorine.
Organic Cotton Pads or Cloth Pads
Organic cotton pads are a popular option with the endometriosis community. Organic pads are made with organic cotton and without the use of any bleaching agents. They offer the same protection as a regular pad, but without the toxins.
Many companies have sprung up who produce and sell reusable pads which are made from cotton. Most women buy a variety of pads of different thicknesses and absorption. You then rinse them through when you want to change. The idea of using these products may seem strange at first but this was the way woman used to protect themselves in the past.
The Menstrual Cup
The menstrual cup is a silicone cup, inserted in the vagina, and sits just below the cervix. They come in different sizes to use for different flow rates. Similar to using tampons, the menstrual cup catches blood to stop it from leaving your body. The cup is more efficient than tampons as it does not allow blood leakage. You need to change the cup at regular times which is something you get used to in time.
To insert the cup, it is folded and then slid into the vagina where it opens up and stays in place with suction. It sits just below the cervix where it catches the blood from your period. Once you know how to insert it correctly, there is no leakage with the cup.
You do not need to rinse out the cup after emptying it, meaning you can do it in a bathroom stall without having to exit it to rinse it, which is very helpful when out in public. Make sure your hands are clean before emptying the cup, to prevent introducing bacteria in your sensitive parts.
For the average period flow a cup can stay in place between half to a whole day without needing emptying. Once you get used to using the cup and you know your flow rate you will have a better idea of how often to empty the cup.
To sum up
Changing to using more natural menstrual products is going to reduce your exposure to toxins and this will decrease any damage they may have caused to your body, as well as the upset they can cause to your hormone system.
Your hormones are already out of whack when you have endometriosis so reducing any toxic load on your body is going to help your overall health, as well as help with endometriosis. And on a final note, going more natural is going to be much better for the environment.
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About the Author
My name is Carolyn Levett, the Founder of endo-resolved - I am an Integrative Health Coach having studied nutrition, naturopathy, aromatherapy as well as being a published author. I used to suffer from severe endometriosis and was able to regained my health and heal from the disease with the support of nutrition and natural therapies.
My motivation is to help other women with endometriosis to heal their bodies so they may overcome this awful disease without having to rely on toxic drugs and surgeries which can cause further damage - with healing thoughts, Carolyn.