|How to break up with your tampons without feeling guilty.|
Jan 18, 2016 0 Comments
It’s kind of funny that I’m writing this because I still have an old box of tampons under my bathroom sink from 2011. Seriously.
I should probably throw those out. Because by now I’m sure they look like this:
Totally yuck. What's a menstruating person to do?
Reusable menstrual cups aren’t a new concept. Actually, they’ve been around since the 1930s. When I tell this “not-so-well-known” fact to my friends they’re often surprised and more often than not, it’s followed by the phrase, “I wish I had known about these when I was younger.” Me too, but that’s an entirely different blog post.
This post is about how to break up with your tampons without feeling guilty.
First of all, what’s holding you back? The upfront cost of a new menstrual cup may seem pretty steep for a menstrual product. Or does it? A years worth of disposable menstrual products will cost ya around $100 a year. $40 for a menstrual cup, that will last you years. Suddenly the math is clear.
PEOPLE, are you okay with putting something cheap and possibly toxic into your vagina without much of a thought? Didn’t think so. I saw this article in Mother Jones in 2010, and it totally freaked me out.
Plastic applicators present some health concerns, too. Back in 2007, MoJo's Elizabeth Gettelman wrote that "Animal studies have linked phthalates [used in PVC plastics of which some applicators are made] to the same genital abnormalities that are now among the most common birth defects in American baby boys." There's no current evidence that applicators will cause these exact same maladies. But the long-term effects of periodically placing plastic near my nether-regions have yet to be investigated, which is a little worrisome. (Source)
Yikes! And I'm sure we've all heard the murmers of what might actually be in tampon fibers (ie: bleach, dioxins)...
The peeps at Women's Voices For The Earth are totally aware of this issue, and they're not being quiet about it. This is a bit of what they have to say:
While tampons may appear to be relatively simple devices, made with few ingredients, there is a great deal that scientists don’t know about the chemicals they may contain. Most tampons are made from cotton and/or rayon or other pulp fiber. Unfortunately these substances can be contaminated with highly toxic dioxins when bleached with chlorine compounds, as well as pesticides from non-organic cotton. (You can download the whole Women's Voices For The Earth report here.)
So, you've decided that you're ready to break up with your tampons. Here are some tips to make the switch a success:
Most importantly, we've got to talk about what you should do with all of those disposable pads and tampons that are now hidden in the back of your bathroom cabinet...if say, you switch to a menstrual cup or another menstrual care alternative? Donate. There are lots of menstruating people in various undesirable situations that desperately need clean menstrual care products. Look up shelters in your area, they’ll more than likely be enthusiastic to receive your donation.
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