We’ve all heard horror stories about tampons leading to bacterial infections if you have an oops moment and leave one up there.
And then there’s toxic shock syndrome, a dangerous – albeit rare – condition associated with not using tampons as directed, or not changing them as indicated every eight to 12 hours (or less, to be super-safe). Then there’s the alternative: sanitary towels. Some people just don’t like them. And here’s a green-alert thought – where do all those used pads and tampons end up anyway?
While tampons are considered safe, if you’re looking for an alternative that isn’t a regular pad, or you’d just like to be more considerate to the environment, why not give one of these options a try?
1. Woman-kind menstrual sponges
Sound weird? Well, give them a chance – because these sponge “tampons” tick all the green boxes: 100 percent natural, biodegradable and sustainably harvested. They’re also free of harsh chemicals, and can be reused over several months before they start to break down and return harmlessly to the Earth. R82 for a pack of two (small and extra-large) at Faithful To Nature.
2. Mooncup menstrual cup
The Mooncup is a reusable menstrual cup, which will last for years. Bonus: It can hold up to three times more liquid than a tampon and is free of the harsh chemicals sometimes found in conventional sanitary products. R599 at Faithful To Nature. Alternatively, check out the budget-friendly Goddess Cup (R255 at Faithful To Nature). Got a low cervix? Try the Merula Low Cervix Cup (R740 at Faithful To Nature).
3. Hannahpad medium pad
Hannahpad cloth menstrual pads are washable, reusable, leak-proof (yes!) and made with a 100 percent organic cotton cover, with no harsh bleaches to irritate your delicate bits. They can be reused for up to three years, so they’re much kinder to the planet (and your wallet) than disposable pads. R130 at Faithful To Nature.
4. Bakgat period panties
How’s this for a great reusable menstrual product? They look just like a regular pair of panties – but they’re absorbent and totally eliminate the need for a pad or tampon when Aunt Flo arrives. Bakgat Period Panties come with a liner, with regular and heavy absorbency levels, and might just be the cutest good environmental choice you can make this year. R360 at Faithful To Nature.
5. Natracare organic cotton regular tampons
Okay, so these are tampons – but they’re a cool option because they’re apparently the only fully certified organic cotton tampons available in the world today. They’re non-chlorine bleached and don’t contain synthetic materials, like rayon, or chemical additives such as binders or surfactants. Nice. R64 at Faithful To Nature. Also try HerPeriod Tampons (R40 at Faithful To Nature) – the packaging is biodegradable!
This article was originally published in Women's Health SA.