Just say NO to Tampons

Just say NO to Tampons | Weed 'Em and Reap

Let’s just pretend that us girls are all hanging out at my house and I’m telling you this story in private, NOT sharing it on the interwebz for the entire world to see. Mmkay?

Okay, good.
Now that we’re all in agreement, here goes…

You know that thing that happens once a month and is, like, SUPER annoying? And all and we’re all like “Noooo!” every time it comes around?

That’s right, folks I’m talking about your favorite thing in the world. Your period.

It all started with theory my sister had about tampons causing infertility. I come from a family of all girls, and while some of us suffer from infertility, there are some that wouldn’t classify themselves as such but still have a difficult time becoming pregnant. Making babies is a common topic in our gatherings. My sister’s OB-GYN had told her that if she wanted to get pregnant, she needed to wear pads during her period instead of tampons.

I know. Just the thought makes me cringe.

This doctor’s theory was that tampons absorb fluid, but not tissue. And every month your uterus expels a surprisingly high amount of tissue. According to her, when you wear a tampon, the uterus gets sort of “backed up” with tissue. This can cause unhealthy conditions in your uterus, causing infertility.

Personally, I believe that a number of factors can contribute to infertility and that tampons aren’t the only culprit, but probably play a part. I decided to do some research on tampons and see if I could find any other cons to using them.

Turns out, there are some pretty serious cons to wearing tampons.

Let’s start with the COTTON in tampons. Cotton seems like a harmless product, right? When I think of cotton I think of those cotton commercials with people dancing and twirling around in the sunlight in their freshly washed cotton clothes.

But cotton farmers use 1/4 of the supply of the world’s PESTICIDES! yikes. Combining carcinogens with a highly absorbent vaginal mucosa… probably not the best idea. On top of that, if you’re not buying Organic Tampons (who does?) then the cotton used is genetically modified.

Now let’s talk about the RAYON in tampons. Rayon is basically bleached wood pulp. The processing of Rayon produces a toxin called dioxin. Dioxin is one of the most dangerous chemicals ever in existence. Yeah, so I’d say that’s pretty bad. In a 2005 study, levels of dioxin were found in seven brands of tampons. It has been found that women exposed to high levels of dioxin can be at risk for pelvic inflammatory disease, reduced immune system, endometriosis, and reduced fertility.

Then I read that mold has been found in tampons, along with the occasional cocaine. Geez, it really IS about to become a party in my uterus.

It was right about at this point that I wanted to stop researching. This almost guaranteed that I had to wear pads during every period for the rest of my life. Noooooo!

Then, my other sister (did I mention I have a lot of sisters?) said that she had been using a menstrual cup for about a year. After I stopped lecturing her about forgetting to include me in her period protocol-changing, we finally got to what the heck a menstrual cup was.

A menstrual cup is a reusable, small, flexible silicon cup that is inserted and can be used instead of a tampon.

Wait. What?

I’m pretty sure I had to have my sister repeat that part. Especially the reusable part. Once I got over the idea of cleaning and reusing something that has been… there… I started to really consider the idea.

First of all, the LOWER COST! We’re talking $40 bucks on the menstrual cup verses $5000 for a lifetime of tampons.

Second, HEALTH! No toxic substances and no Toxic Shock Syndrome. You can actually wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours, no problem. Hey, this is beginning to sound better and better.

Third, NO LEAKS! When a menstrual cup is inserted correctly, there will be no leaks. Even if you play sports, nada.

Fourth, LESS CRAMPS! Because the menstrual cup allows the uterus to expel both fluid AND tissue, your uterus doesn’t cramp like a crazy she-devil.

Fifth, COMFORT! No nasty string hanging out, and for that alone I was willing to give it a try.

Through some more research I was able to find a product I trusted. I decided on the Lunette brand. What I liked about them is the different size options. Size 1 is for women who are not sexually active or haven’t had children. Size 2 is for women who have. Made with a medical-grade silicone, I knew it would be naturally resistant to bacteria. I also liked that they offered a clear variety instead of a colored one.

My Experience with a Menstrual Cup:

I’m not gonna lie, I was a tad worried about using it. I kept thinking, “What the heck did I get myself into?” But actually it was surprisingly easy to insert. And other than a slight freak out moment when I imagined having to use tongs to pull it out, removing it was fine. It was also really easy to clean. For disinfection between periods, you soak in very hot water for about 5 minutes. You then store it in a little cloth pouch until next month.

Another bonus: I definitely noticed less cramping! I think what I love most about using a menstrual cup is that I can wear it for 12 hours straight before having to empty it and clean it. 12 HOURS, people. Even on my most heavy days! Plus I feel SUPER eco-friendly.

So, check it out! Take the leap! Reduce your cost, your carbon footprint, your toxicity and embrace the awesomeness that is a menstrual cup! I promise you won’t be disappointed!