8 Period Mistakes You’re Making Every Month

Mistake 1: Using tampons and pads made with rayon or bleached cotton

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Most tampons and pads are made with rayon, cotton, or a mix of both. These conventional pads and tampons can contain traces of pesticides, residue from bleaching, adhesives like methyldibromo glutaronitrile, and dioxin, a known endocrine and fertility disruptor. Many researchers and policy groups believe that the FDA’s statement that dioxin exposure from tampons is too low to be harmful is nearsighted, and fails to take into account the permeability of vaginal tissues, frequency of exposure, or the long-term impacts of low levels of dioxin. Multiplied by 12,000, which is about how many tampons a woman will use in a lifetime, these barely detectable chemical residues have the potential to be incredibly dangerous. More research is necessary to know exactly how long-term exposure effects health.

“Women absolutely do need to be concerned about pesticides and dioxin exposure from tampons and pads,” said Eden Fromberg, DO, an integrative obstetrician-gynecologist. “Numerous medical journals and scientists have called for these substances to be better regulated.” Exposure to these chemicals may cause reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and cancer according to a report from Women’s Voices for the Earth.

Skip the chemical exposure and instead use organic, unbleached tampons and pads. Menstrual cups made out of medical grade silicone and reusable organic cotton pads/period underwear are also safe and effective alternatives.

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