Could your tampons be causing health issues?

I wouldn’t say Aunt Flo and her monthly gift are necessarily the most welcome.  Perhaps our periods can come as a surprise, a disappointment, or even accompanied by a sigh of relief… am I right? 


Well, what if I told you we could be absorbing harmful toxins through our tampons? I’ve had so many clients tell me their various symptoms from bad menstrual cramps to recurrent vaginal infection improve after they paid attention to what may be in their tampons.


The vagina is highly permeable, and what we introduce it to can be easily absorbed into our bodies.  So what about those harmful toxins I mentioned?  Yup, you guessed it!  Absorbed.  Tampons can be an unknown source of toxins like dioxin and glyphosate that can significantly affect women’s health. Now that’s pretty terrifying to hear when the average woman will apparently use 11,400 tampons over the course of 22,000 days.  


Not only that, but the FDA lists tampons as a medical device, meaning it’s not subject to the same regulations as food, drugs or cosmetics.  The FDA doesn’t do the safety testing, but instead, is done directly within the industry.  The companies manufacturing these tampons are selling to its very consumers after performing “safety tests,” which could be the very reason for lack of transparency.  Only fairly recently were the manufacturers required to reveal and provide the ingredients list for their tampons.  So basically, millions of women have been unknowingly using toxic tampons since 1860… hmm, well, that certainly explains the lack of awareness. 


Can you believe these man-made “medical devices” still adversely affect women’s health to this day?  Women established a right to know what’s used as ingredients to make the tampon, so for further awareness, let’s explore a few of the ingredients in conventional tampons together.  


Think twice before grabbing that box of conventional tampons!  Below are some ingredients to watch out for... 


 Conventional Cotton

  • When we hear cotton, our instinct is to believe it’s all natural and good for you.  However, there’s a big difference between conventional cotton and organic cotton.  Just as some mass produced food is grown with the help of synthetic chemicals, cotton is too.  Conventional cotton is considered the “dirtiest crop” due to its controversial embodying chemicals, glyphosate.  An astounding 85% of tampons were found to contain this specific chemical. Glyphosate has a particular affinity for gut bacteria.  Where else can you find glyphosate?  In weed-killing herbicides.  We are essentially putting a pesticide inside our bodies.  No wonder it’s been linked to allergies, infertility, neurodegenerative disease and cancer.  This is precisely why choosing organic over conventional (for almost everything) should be a priority.  



  • Polyester is a synthetic ingredient conventionally derived from crude oil and includes pesticides.  It’s often a source of heavy metals antimony and formaldehyde.  These heavy metals are probable carcinogens and very toxic to many organs.  It doesn’t surprise that polyester in tampons has been found to increase the risk of TSS, Toxic Shock Syndrome. 



  • Back in the day, I remember seeing advertisements on TV for the latest in women’s health trends: scented pads and tampons.   Even brief mention of exposure to purposely scented women products in our down-there area makes me cringe.   “Fragrance” is an ambiguous umbrella term that can potentially cover hundreds of toxic ingredients linked to hormone disruption, allergies/asthma, neurotoxins and carcinogens.  With the use of scented sanitary pads and tampons, irritation, itching and burning can happen, not to mention the possibility of these toxins getting into our bloodstream and accumulating to cause long term health challenges. 



  • Through fiber loss, rayon is shed into the vagina.  Dioxin, a derivative of rayon, is also known to be one of the most toxic chemicals in existence.  It was especially prominent in sanitary products due to the chlorine bleaching process done in earlier years, but that particular process was thankfully banned around two decades ago.  Dioxin is connected to immune suppression, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis, miscarriage, infertility, diabetes, birth defects and cancer.  The EPA (The United States Environmental Protection Agency) states, “Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones.”  


I don’t like publicly bad-mouthing brands, but problematic brands include: 

  1. Playtex Sport 
  2. Tampax Pearl
  3. U by Kotex 


In place of the above brands, look for certified organic cotton tampons.  GOTS (The Global Organic Textile Standard) certified brands ensure the highest quality.  GOTS certification means no pesticides, fragrance, plastic and chlorine.  To add to the list, you should also look for toxin-free products.  Something being inserted into your body should never include toxins, dyes or synthetic fibers.  


The following brands ensure all criteria listed above.   

  1. Natracare 
  1. LOLA
  2. Cora
  3. L Organic Cotton Tampons 


I love my body and want to treat it with the utmost respect.  Toxins like glyphosate and dioxins should not be absorbed by my body, primarily through something as commonly used like a tampon.  Health is wealth, so let’s get women’s health educated and stop the use of products hurting us way more than benefitting us!  


Ladies, what are your thoughts on this subject? Have you tried alternatives to tampons and pads? Let me know in the comments.