I remember the first day of my period—way back when I was 13 years of age. It was terribly embarrassing! My mom gave me a tampon and said, “Just push this up there.” I pushed it in and she said, it can be a little sore, so I expected that. For the first hour, I walked around with it, only at the entrance of my vagina! Yes, that was sore! I really believed that was, what she had meant.
After that day—and after learning how to use them properly—I used tampons for the better part of 20 years. I never questioned any of it: what I was sticking up there, whether it was safe or not; I certainly didn’t follow the safety instructions of recommended removal time. I was lazy and I would often leave them in there for a full day, if it was in the later stages of my period.
It was only after visiting a Chinese doctor some years ago that I actually thought about the potential effects of using tampons. I never realised how the tampon would actually slow down the excretion process of my monthly. The Chinese describe Endometriosis as a “blockage” in the abdominal cavity. By using a tampon, we are essentially putting a big fat plug in the pipelines! There is no free-flowing or natural release by the uterus.
The other thing I never considered was what tampons are made of or how they are produced. Tampons are typically made of cotton which is one of the most pesticide-sprayed plants there is. If you haven’t read the connection between pesticides and Endometriosis, go check it out. It is frightening to think that for all those years, I exposed my vagina to countless amounts of pesticides and dioxins. These nasty chemicals were coming in direct contact with my vagina and were super close to all that could trigger an auto-immune response by my body!
Now, I am sure there is more to developing Endometriosis than just tampons but I am sure these things don’t help!
The other thing I never considered was the hygiene element of sticking tampons up there and having all that old blood still sitting up there. Our fingernails are one of the most dirty places in our bodies and here we are sticking our fingers up there! Never mind all that old stuff, not being fully excreted from the body. Our monthly is a form of toxin release by the body, so that stuff should be coming out and not hanging about a minute longer!
Here’s the thing… I loved tampons and would boast about their benefits to all my friends for years. I couldn’t imagine using anything else. They are just so convenient, right?
So what else can we try? There are a couple of different options these days and they are far better than tampons. The Diva Cup or Mooncup are two that we can use which have the same convenience factor of tampons but they don’t sit all the way up and against the vagina walls.
I personally just use pads now and get the unbleached cotton ones or use re-usable, washable ones.
I have heard many women say that by changing to something other than tampons, their period pain has substantially reduced. I personally believe this has to do with the body’s natural desire to get that stuff out! It will keep pushing until it is out!
What are your thoughts? Do you use tampons or did you use them in the past? Did you notice a difference when you stopped using them?