When many are asked if they know what the tampons they are wearing have been manufactured from, some guess cotton but most folks simply do not know. Unfortunately, the majority of tampons are NOT made of only cotton or organic material. They are made from viscose, rayon, etc. (These ingredients were taken directly off a box of tampons in the grocery store.)
When you do occasionally find a tampon made from cotton, they are often bleached. Cotton in its natural source, however, is not the same pristine white. This may be a marketing tool that makes one think the tampons are “hygienic” or “clean” because they are white. In reality, bleaching adds another layer of chemicals that are inserted into the vagina. When you think of inserting chemicals into the body, you have a whole other visual don’t you?
When you add in the plastic applicator for “ease” in inserting the tampon, the polyester cord used to remove the tampon plus a host of other conditions, what you actually have is a chemical storm in your body.
Finished using the tampon? You’re told to simply toss it away like so much other plastic in our landfills. In addition, the risk of toxic shock syndrome dramatically increases with the use of tampons. Are you wondering if there is a better way yet?
There is. Menstrual cups have actually been around for quite some time but are just now beginning to gain momentum in the marketplace. Many have already made the switch not only for personal reason but environmental reasons too. M any menstrual cups are manufactured of medical grade silicone or other safe materials. When inserted into the vagina, the cup catches the blood and holds it securely until removed and emptied. It can actually stay safely in place for up to 12 hours (depending on your flow).
What many like the most about menstrual cups is how easy they are to use. After washing your hands, simply fold and insert into the vagina. When in position, release and the menstrual cup will pop into place. When it is time to remove the menstrual cup, again wash your hands first, then pinch the bottom of the cup which will release the suction and allow you to gently remove and empty the contents into the toilet.
Menstrual hygiene has certainly come a long way from the days of using old rags as pads. It’s important though that we make smart decisions regarding our bodies including how we handle our menstrual flow. The most important point regarding menstrual cups is that you are able to use them over and over. This not only saves you money, it saves the environment and helps you avoid introducing chemicals into your body.
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