Do you suffer from unknown vaginal irritation that doesn’t go away, despite antibiotics and other thrush treatments?
Does it get worse around your bleed? Do you suffer from endometriosis, heavy bleeds or period pain?
You may have tried abdominal massage, changing your diet, yoga, castor oil packs but not noticed much of a difference. It may surprise you that your feminine hygiene products could be to blame.
I recently found out that 75% of UK Gynaecologists surveyed, thought that unexplained irritation in the vagina is likely to be caused by feminine hygiene products. And this really isn’t a surprise when you think about it. There are so many ingredients used in these products that are well known irritants and allergens in other contexts: chlorine, latex, lubricants, sodium lauryl sulphate, fragrances and heavy metal based dyes are all used in various feminine hygiene products as standard and unfortunately, they are not clearly labelled on the packet.
Further more, when you remove a tampon which isn’t completely soaked through, it can leave fibres on the inside of the vagina or cervix. These can also cause irritation, inflammation, hold on to various “bad bacteria” strains which lead to an increase occurrence of vaginal and bladder irritation.
Upsetting the pH
Our bodies carry out a delicate balancing act of keeping the good bacteria strains high and bad bacteria strains low. Our vagina contains a bacteria called lacto-bacilli which keep their environment pH slightly acidic which helps prevent infections.
Unfortunately, all bleached products upset this balance as they are alkaline in nature.
Heavier or Painful Periods
The bleaching process produces a substance called dioxin which is linked to increased amounts of blood loss and painful bleeds. There have been several studies linking dioxin to endometriosis, including that of Professor Osumu Tsutsumi, Professor of Gynaecology at the Tokyo University Hospital. In 1999, he found that women suffering from endometriosis had a higher level of dioxins in their systems.
So What Can You do?
Unfortunately, there is no way of telling what is in a lot of products as manufacturers are not required to list chemical names or other ingredients in their products.
If you want to continue to use tampons or pads, you can look at using unbleached, 100% organic cotton pads or tampons.
You can also look into other methods of sanitary protection such as re-usable sanitary pads, menstrual cups or sponges.
I would love to hear whether you have made the change and what difference it has made to you.
Find Out More:
Read more about What Is A Period?
Read more about Why Period Pain Isn't Normal?
Read more about How Sitting Properly Can Help Period Pain
Join my Periodology: Love Your Period Course to find out how to source, choose and use your menstrual products.