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Health Hazards Of Using Sanitary Napkins: Are There Alternatives?

The most commonly used feminine hygiene products, pads and tampons, are serious health hazards for you. Know the alternatives here.

Health Hazards Of Using Sanitary Napkins: Are There Alternatives?

So what are the safer alternatives of sanitary pads and tampons?


  1. Sanitary napkins and tampons are a serious health hazard
  2. Some BPA carrying pads can be cancer-causing
  3. Menstrual cups are a safer alternative for sanitary pads and tampons

One of the most commonly used feminine hygiene product is sanitary pads. Everyone loves these pads, they are so convenient and affordable and probably the very first feminine hygiene product you used. Where you may think that you know everything about these products, here's a heads up. Sanitary napkins are a serious health hazard.

Yes sanitary napkins, A.K.A, pads and tampons are very convenient and easy-to-use products but they come with a price. The price that you have to pay for this convenience is your own health. When we look at it with an environmental perspective, these female hygiene products can potentially harm your environment because of the plastic used and the chemicals added to it for absorption of menstrual blood and adding fragrance.

Also read: 7 Best Tips For A Healthy Period

Take a look at the potential health hazards of using sanitary napkins and tampons.

1. Cancer

Yes, they are cancer causing!

Of course these pads will not cause cancer right away, but using them again and again for years can potentially increase your risk of cancer. Some sanitary napkins carry BPA along with other chemicals. Over time, they can enter the human body and interfere with your reproductive system.

2. Pesticides and herbicides in pads

There are two types of pads, the gel pads and cotton pads. Where you may feel that the cotton pads are safer, these facts will surprise you. Cotton, made from the cotton plant, carries pesticides and herbicides. When they are used in pads, these directly enter the blood stream and interfere with your internal organs.


Photo Credit: iStock

3. Infertility and birth defects

To kill the unbearable and extremely unpleasant smell of menstrual blood, deodorants and fragrances are added to the pads. These scented pads are even worse. They interfere with your embryonic development. As a result, your fertility gets affected.

So, are there safer alternatives to the regular tampons and pads?

Yes, there are safer alternatives to pads and tampons. One of the alternatives is a menstrual cup. These are flexible silicon cups which are inserted in your vagina. The cup catches all the blood you shed throughout the day and has to be emptied every 12 hours and can be re-inserted again. Sounds gross, doesn't it?

menstrual cups

Photo Credit: iStock

Well it is not gross. Firstly, fear of the fact that you may end up touching the blood is fine. But that will not happen if the cup is inserted properly. And even if you have to touch it, it's fine because that's your own blood. It may take you some time to get a hang of how to use these cups but once you learn, you will never stop using them. An added advantage of these cups is that it reduces the discomfort of menstrual cramps.

Also read: Why Indian Women Should Switch To Menstrual Cups And Discard Sanitary Pads; All About Menstrual Cups

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Another option is using a cloth pad. They have a waterproof lining which prevents any form of leakage on your clothes. But the best part about them is the fact that the need for chemical products is eliminated. The only disadvantage is that they need to be washed regularly. But what's the harm, you will be safe against harmful cancer and infertility-causing chemicals. 


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