I’ve written in a previous column about the vagina being one of the most absorbent parts of the body. Since research emerged on this topic, women have started asking why tampon and pad packs don’t fully disclose ingredients. Many of us worry about our exposure to toxins and chemicals, such as dioxins, that can affect our hormonal health. Studies have linked dioxins to endometriosis, other hormonal conditions, and some forms of cancer.
There are two camps when it comes to the safety levels of menstrual period products: advocates for organic and 100% natural and those who believe there isn’t enough evidence to suggest these products might be harmful.
Sufficient proof or not, if I’m using thousands of pads or tampons over my lifetime, I’d rather not be exposed to a cumulative amount of dioxins. Even if the studies linking endometriosis to dioxin levels are small, I’d rather err on the side of caution.
I have to use period products anyway, so it’s not an effort to change from chemical-based products to organic ones. The one drawback is that some organic period products are slightly more expensive. I had a look online, and it seems that natural products are about £1 ($1.30) more in the U.K. than the main brands. For those with heavy periods those costs could add up, but as my periods are light, it’s a price I’m willing to pay to protect my hormonal health.
When I changed to natural period products a few years ago, I was using tampons at the time. My periods immediately became less painful. I then stopped using tampons entirely and switched to pads and I’ve had a dramatic improvement. I’ve now started using period underwear and am feeling more confident and comfortable during my period than ever before.
Following are some of the leading natural and organic period wear companies, in case you’d like to try switching, too.
TOTM is my personal favorite in the U.K. The brand is leading the conversation when it comes to menstrual education and raising awareness for menstrual-related conditions including endometriosis. The range includes pads, liners, tampons, and a menstrual cup. I use their pads and liners and find them super-soft and comfortable.
You can sign up for a subscription service or buy them from Tesco stores throughout the U.K.
I like LOLA for three reasons: They make natural and organic period products with no harmful hidden ingredients, natural cramp relievers, and toxin-free condoms and lubricant. LOLA is a one-stop shop.
I also love LOLA’s values. The brand is working on products that support women at every life stage, and is generating conversations about women’s health to increase awareness and education and find better solutions.
Watch this video from the company’s co-founders to learn more.
Period underwear is — thankfully — no longer a new concept, but I have just recently tried them out. THINX is one of the leading brands for period underwear and is readily available in the U.K., thanks to Selfridges and ASOS. There are a few brands to choose from, so shop around.
Period underwear is essentially a backup for your period. If you’re prone to flooding or leaking, period underwear give you extra security. If your flow is reasonably light, you can wear your period underwear as a replacement for your products. If it’s heavier, you can wear the underpants along with pads or tampons. I wore these at the endo march and am pleased to report I had no leaks all day. They’re also super-comfortable, which I wasn’t expecting. I also love the THINX design and fit – a bonus!
Do you have any favorite toxin-free period brands? Share in the comments below.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.