Handling menstrual flow is something that each and every woman has to deal with. Papyrus was first used in ancient Egypt, then reusable sanitary belts, and after that disposable pads. Most of these options were not that reliable until tampons were developed in the 1930′s, revolutionizing feminine hygiene.

However recent research has shown that tampons can be dangerous for a woman’s health. Let’s  look into the health risks of tampons and explore the healthy alternatives.

Health risk of tampons

1. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)

TSS develops in the body when the common bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus, produces a toxin which is absorbed into the bloodstream. The toxin rapidly overwhelms the immune system and attacks the major organs, leading to kidney failure, collapse of the lungs and in severe cases, cardiac arrest. Alarmingly, 50% of all known cases of Toxic Shock are result of women using tampons!

Symptoms of TSS are: sore throat, aching muscles, high temperature, vomiting, watery diarrhea, red rash, confusion, dizziness,very low blood pressure. Only one or two symptoms may occur, and they do not necessarily occur all at once and may not persist. If you are experiencing any of these, remove the tampon right away and go to the hospital and insist on getting a blood test.

2. Chemicals in Tampons

Rayon is the main ingredient in generic tampons. It’s a fiber that is made from cellulose fibers. Cellulose is a natural fiber, but to produce Rayon chemical procedures are needed that include: carbon disulphide, sulphuric acid, chlorine and caustic soda. Side effects from exposure to too much Rayon can include: nausea, vomiting, chest pain, headaches and many others.

Tampons are also bleached using chlorine, which results in the production of dioxin, which in turn is linked to breast cancer, endometriosis, immune system suppression and various other ailments.

3. Tampons can cause infections

Tampon use causes micro lacerations (tiny wounds) every time you insert one and pull it out, leaving your vagina wall more exposed to any infection or disease.

4. Tampons disturb the PH-Balance

Tampons absorb your flow but they also absorb all the moisture that is very important to keep your ph and vagina healthy.

5. Tampons cause odor

You may remember from my previous article there is nothing toxic, dirty or smelly about our menstrual blood. But as soon as the tampon is inserted the process of oxidation starts and bacteria develops which explains that funky smell.

6. Tampons leave chemical residue in your vagina

Loose fibers are left behind in your vagina, which your body eventually flushes out but until then you have chemicals stored in your body and these can cause bladder or vaginal infections, and TSS. Some of the fibers might also get stuck in the cervix, which might cause uterine infection.

If you want to test this, take a tampon and jiggle it in a glass a water and see what happens to the fibers!

7. I’ve heard some people say that some tampons have special chemicals that make you bleed more. So you buy more.


…read more here.

Sofia Sundari
Latest posts by Sofia Sundari (see all)