One of the least discussed topics and at the same time a subject which should be talked about and discussed freely is that of menstruation and what kind of pads to use on those particular days of the month. Let us accept it, way back the females in our households used cloth pads only. There was not much of commercialization back then, and women were happy with the simple cotton cloth pads they used. Also problems like rashes on skin, infections and menstrual cramps were relatively less common back then.
Fast-forward today… in the name of convenience and ease to carry, synthetic menstrual pads have flooded the market. In fact they are advertised as a step towards liberation and modernization of women. But reality is that disposable menstrual products are not good for your health as well as for the environment.
Side effects of disposable menstrual products
- It has dioxin – a byproduct of chlorine bleaching processes – a known human carcinogen. It also effects the immunity system and is regarded as one major cause of pelvic inflammatory disease.
- The odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances used in these products are chemical soup of adhesives, polyethylene (PET), propylene glycol (PEG) as well as polypropylene. In short all the contaminants which are linked to vaginal dryness, birth defects, hormone disruption and infertility.
- Pesticide residues and adhesive chemicals are also found in these products. As the vagina and vulva are some of the most absorbent tissues of the body, which is why all the toxins present in the menstrual products are easily absorbed in the body leading to several complications.
Along with these side effects, disposable menstrual products are non-degradable and therefore harmful for our environment.
And this brings us to the topic of reusable cotton pads. Many women today have a lot of apprehensions about reusable cotton pads. Made from natural cotton, these cotton pads have changed the way women experience their menstruation cycle. Here are some of the major benefits of using reusable cotton pads:
- Reduced allergies and thrushThe first positive change which you will experience when you switch to reusable cotton pads is that, you no longer suffer from allergies, thrush or rashes on you skin. Unlike the synthetic pads which promote the growth of germs and fungal infections in humid climates, these pads discourage such developments on the skin as they are softer than disposable menstrual products and thereby do not lead to skin irritation and other complications.
- Reduced risk of Toxic Shock SyndromeToxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a fatal disease which was initially identified in 1980 and is linked to the use of super-absorbent sanitary pads and tampons – as they are made of viscose rayon. It especially effects young girls as their immunity is not that strong in the initial years of menstruation.As reusable cotton pads do not have any chemical load, you can stay assured that you are away from toxic shock syndrome.
- Reusable cotton pads are cost-effectiveThough the initial upfront cost might be more than the usual synthetic pads available in the market, in the long-run cotton pads are cost-effective. As they are reusable, it is a one time investment. Normally a pads lasts for several washes. Thus when you choose reusable pads, you not only choose good health but also a smart way saving your money.
- Survey show that cloth pads are linked to shorter periods and reduced PMSOften those who use disposable menstrual products complain of many days of bleeding and bad PMS (premenstrual syndrome). But recent survey shows that women who have switched to reusable cloth pads experience shorter periods and also their PMS has reduced drastically. Perhaps this is your body’s way responding when it is not treated with carcinogenic chemicals.
- Cloth pads are more comfortable, leak-proof and also easier to cleanThere are many females who are not comfortable with the plastic lining of the synthetic pads, yet use it just because they do not have any other option. Reusable cloth pads are in fact the best solution for them. These pads have press button fastening on its wings, which keep them in place and avoid leakage. Also they are available in all sizes, thus you can choose a pad depending on your flow. This is the main reason why women who use cloth pads vouch on its comfort and leak proof feature.Another apprehension surrounding the reusable pads is regarding its cleaning process. Many women think that it is a tough task. But if we go back to history, several women have been doing it on a regular basis and the cleaning process is neither that tough nor time-consuming. All you need to do is soak the pads in cold water for some time and then wash it as usual either by hand or in the washing machine. You can further sanitize the pads by using tea-tree or any other essential oil while cleaning it. It is also recommended that you dry these pads in direct sun-light so that all dampness and odour evaporates easily. This way, when you switch to reusable cotton pads what you get is a clean, hygienic and odour-less pads instead of pads laced with a cocktail of various chemicals.
Apart from being great for your health, reusable cotton pads also help in bringing down the amount of biodegradable waste, thereby reducing pollution and toxicity in the environment.
Thus it is time you switch to a healthier and eco-friendly way of dealing with your menstrual cycles.
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