The recent controversy over the tampon tax has been good for pretty much one reason: bringing the discussion of periods into the public conscious. Now, all us girls get them, and they affect us in a pretty extreme way, but we’ve been conditioned into considering them a shameful thing, not to be discussed, especially in front of men. Thankfully by bringing the ridiculous nature of the tampon tax into light (in case you don’t know what I’m talking about, in the UK tampons are taxed because they’re considered a “luxury” and, well, helicopters aren’t because they’re necessary. Makes sense right?), Osborne and our band of merry politicians have encouraged both men and women to discuss the tabooed issue of periods.
Now, here’s why I think this is important. We’ve all heard of thrush and BV (bacterial vaginosis) right? Well these can be caused by a number of factors, but the material which both our underwear and sanitary items are made of can contribute to the development of these conditions. Now that we’re finally able to discuss tampons, and by extension sanitary towels, I think it’s important we look at what they are doing to our health, and alternatives to the heavily marketed perfumed ones which ever-so-hygienically allow us to wear them for hours and hours, trapping all the nasties that our bodies get rid of during our periods.
I came across a brand called Natracare in my local Gaia store a couple of months ago and would never look back to the kind of sanitary products I was using previously. Did you know that normal sanitary towels contain chlorine and are made of around 80% plastic? And that tampons contain artificial fibres that can shed whilst inside you and remain in your vagina after you remove the tampon itself? Because I certainly didn’t until I started doing more research into it. And this is why I use Natracare products. Their tampons, for example, only contain organic cotton, whereas most mass-produced and well-recognised ones contain a mixture of rayon and cotton. It is rayon which has the potential to shed and cause vaginal infections. Let’s face it, most people are either a tampon girl or a pad girl. We all want whatever we feel most comfortable in when we’re feeling at our most uncomfortable physically. Natracare offers both styles for women to wear, which are chlorine free (and yes, that does mean normal pads contain chlorine, ugh!) and made from 100% organic cotton. At some point in their lives, most women will suffer from thrush or BV, and gynaecologists urge women to change their hygiene routines, and now many are supporting Natracare, suggesting that it could be incredibly beneficial to move to sanitary products which will not irritate the skin.
Ultimately, we all want our vaginas to function at their optimum right? Not only does this impact our day to day comfort, but it can have a massive effect on our sex lives. So, I think we should all think about exactly what we are using at a time when our vagina is at its most sensitive and perhaps opt for brands that offer the opportunity to improve our sexual and vaginal health.