Menstruation has an unnecessary stigma surrounding it, which means that as a result, we hardly ever talk about the safety of the menstrual products we use.
And you know what? It’s an important topic because – spoiler alert – there are a lot of menstrual hygiene products out there that contain harmful, toxic ingredients that could negatively impact you.
We believe that education and awareness are powerful tools for every menstruator. The more you know and the more information that’s available to you, the more empowered you are to make healthy, sustainable, and comfortable menstrual product choices.
We want to do everything in our power to be a part of that.
Menstrual Products That Are Harmful to Your Health: What You Need to Know
Every person is entitled to their own choice about what they put into their body, but at June we believe it’s crucial for every menstruator to be as aware and educated as possible before making that choice.
Why Does the Safety of Menstrual Products Matter?
Anything you’re putting on, near, around, or in your body is going to have direct or indirect effects on your overall health and well-being—this includes your vagina, your cervix, the skin around your vagina, and beyond.
Let’s start with the external.
Your skin is the largest and thinnest organ in your body—which means it’s highly permeable. Anything that comes into constant contact with your skin runs the risk of landing in your bloodstream, which then is directly distributed throughout your entire body. Once something is in your bloodstream and traveling around, it comes in contact with your internal organs—and those are not always totally equipped to fight off external factors.
That means pads, liners, and other dangerous feminine products that are interwoven with harmful toxins (we’ll get to that part in a minute) never have to be directly inserted into your body to hurt you—just touching you from the outside could be enough.
Internally, well, it’s the same argument. Your body is going to absorb and be affected by whatever you put into it. That makes sense, right? You’ve always known this about the things you ingest and consume—what you insert into your vagina also directly impacts your health.
Menstrual Products That Could Be Harmful
Here’s the unfortunate thing—toxic chemicals can legally be used in all kinds of personal care products without pre-market safety testing.
- panty liners
- vaginal wipes
- vaginal sprays
- feminine washes
- vaginal lubricants
and more are all legally allowed to contain hazardous, unregulated, and toxic chemicals that could result in serious health problems.
And when we say toxic chemicals, we’re not exaggerating. Here are just a few of the toxic chemicals found in products like the ones we listed above:
- benzethonium chloride
- dioxins and furans
- diazolidinyl urea
- endocrine disruptors
- pesticide residues
- plastic chemicals and microplastics
- reproductive toxins
Further, a recent study linked many brands of menstrual pads (and diapers, too!) that contained elevated levels of chemicals (phthalate) to developmental and reproductive harm.
Want the full picture of what you could be dealing with when it comes to harmful menstrual products? Check out this list from Women’s Voices that details the chemicals of concern in menstrual and intimate care products.
This evidence is enough for many to believe that using these harmful products could prove to be a ticking time bomb of health issues.
So what is the solution? Opt for products that don’t contain harmful ingredients, know what your products are made of, and try for unbleached, chlorine-free, plastic-free, unscented products that openly state they don’t contain dioxins, furans, microplastics, and more.
Have Menstrual Questions? We’re Here For You
We hope we were able to shed a little light on some healthier menstrual care alternatives. How you handle your menstrual care is your call—we always encourage you to do what’s healthiest and most comfortable for you.
That being said, if you’ve got questions, concerns, or inquiries about our menstrual cups, period products, or menstruation in general, you can always reach out to us. The June team is here for you and we’re ready to assist you however we can—just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you in a flash.
In the meantime, take a peek at our regularly updated blog for more menstrual care information, insight, and advice.