It may seem odd to you that a psychiatrist is talking to you about your tampons and pads. However, it’s actually a very important topic, that most psychiatrists (and other doctors) rarely discuss. Unfortunately, most feminine care products are loaded with tons of toxic chemicals. Tampons can be the most dangerous because vaginas are actually great at absorbing things. Traditional tampons and pads are frequently loaded with a lot of chemicals, many of which are known as “endocrine disruptors.” Some of the common endocrine disruptors found in many popular feminine care products:
- Phthalates – these nasty buggers (used to mask odors) can wreak all kinds of harm on the body, including damaging the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.
- Volatile Organic Compounds – Also called VOCs. These chemicals can cause cancer and are also associated with fetal and reproductive health problems.
- Dioxins – These chemicals are environmental pollutants that result from the process of bleaching tampons and pads. They are extremely toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, autoimmune reactivity, cancer, and hormone disruption.
- Glyphosate – One of the nastiest chemicals ever invented, it is found in the herbicide Roundup, which is sprayed on many crops around the globe (including the cotton used for tampons.) Glyphosate has been linked to numerous health problems, including cancer, reproductive disorders, and liver and kidney damage.
Okay, all of this sounds pretty scary, but what do endocrine disruptors have to do with your mood? Well, your endocrine (hormonal) system and your nervous system and brain are actually intimately connected. Anything that disrupts your hormones will likely have an effect on your brain and nervous system and hence can cause numerous mental health symptoms such as changes in mood, depression, anxiety, brain fog, memory problems, fatigue, sleep disturbances and behavioral dysregulation.
It may seem hard to believe, but your tampons or pads can actually be affecting your emotions in addition to your overall health!
However, there is good news! There are safe alternatives to traditional tampons and pads. One option is using all natural, organic cotton tampons and pads. However, my favorite option is using a menstrual cup. Yes, they can seem a little scary at first, but most women find them to be very comfortable once they get the hang of using them! It’s also a great way to save a ton of money and help the environment!
Many women spend a lot of time considering what they put in their mouth to eat. While this is also important, I would suggest that we also need to start thinking about what we put in and around our vaginas! While this information can be intimidating at first, the first step towards change is always awareness. You can start by researching what is actually in the feminine products you use. You will then be empowered and can decide whether or not you’re ready to make a change.