A contributing editor of the New Republic magazine did a deep dive into why women haven’t switched up their period care routines, despite promising new products like the menstrual cup and period panties. She concluded that although these products are more environmentally friendly and often less expensive, 70% of Americans are still using tampons. Why is that?
Well, according to the New Republic, some factors include throw-away culture and the distance tampons and pads allow us to keep from our bodies. With a menstrual cup and reusable period underwear, you likely will have to get a little closer with your menstrual blood than you’d like. But you don’t have to start with products that make you uncomfortable. Switch to disposable period panties that allow you to still throw away the product after use, but are biodegradable and safer for the environment and your body.
There’s another factor at play here, too. Prior to these exciting, new products, when is the last time you took a serious look at your period care routine and considered switching it up? Probably not often, if ever, right? We get used to how to take care of this thing by the time we’re 15 and just do that throughout our lives. Not only should you switch it up, but we would go so far as to say you need to switch it up. Here’s why.
Though tampons are not inherently dangerous (apart from the risk of the rare Toxic Shock Syndrome,) there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to their ingredients, the roles those ingredients play in our bodies and generally just more worry about the length of time you can safely wear them due to the previously mentioned TSS. After this discovery, I decided to do some research into alternative solutions for period care.
During this, I tried organic tampons (which change nothing about the risk for TSS, but are ultimately better for the environment – more on that here,) organic pads and period underwear. The safest options are definitely pads and disposable period underwear, as they present zero risk for TSS and are overall harmless as they don’t enter our bodies. Reusable period underwear are also a safe option, but can be made of materials like nylon and spandex which not only aren’t biodegradable, but aren’t very breathable.
Hear me out, here. How exciting is it when you get a new skin care product that feels amazing on your face? The same can be true of your period care when you try new things and find what works for you. A year ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about trying new period products. Tampons were doing just fine, why change it? But the more I learned and cared about my body, the more I became curious and after trying disposable period underwear, not only are periods far more exciting (who would ever think?) but they feel more comfortable and breezier.
Not only did switching up my period care routine make periods more enjoyable, but it was incredibly refreshing. This thing we dread or are annoyed by typically became an exciting journey into how I could best care for my body. In the same way that tracking your cycle can, switching up your products and opting for healthier and more comfortable solutions might just change your entire outlook on your body and improve your relationship with it. And you don’t have to touch your menstrual blood to get there.
So, take the leap. Ditch the same old tampons you’ve been buying since high school and try out disposable period panties! Switch to organic feminine wipes when you need a refresh! We know it sounds crazy, but it may just make you actually look forward to your next period.