Menstrual pads and tampons, stuff we use every month (or only when you've forgotten to take your birth control pill and now you're stuck with your menzies). As women, these things are obviously our partner in crime when we're menstruating. However until recently I never really questioned what they're made of.
It wasn't until my mom came home with some organic sanitary towels that I got interested in the deep and dark secrets of menstrual products. My initial reaction was a bit skeptical; why on earth would someone need biological pads? While I was sitting on the toilet, minding my own business, I started to read the box of these biological sanitary towels and my mind got blown. It clearly stated 'plastic and chlorine free'. This would mean that in other menstrual products there ARE traces of chlorine and plastic. I was in shock: our magnificent vaginas are apparently in danger.
A trip down the wonderful world wide web taught me a lot. Apparently it's common to find traces of bleach, pesticides, plastic and other harmful chemical products. Bleach on the one hand is used to give these products their white look, pesticides on the other hand are used to protect the cotton crops. As our very beloved vagina's are one of the most absorbing body parts, this is kind of problematic. Chemicals are dangerous as they can cause rashes and irritation, but also more severe diseases like cancer.
What up, always?
I decided to find out what non-biological menstrual products are made of, but when scanning the packaging I couldn't find the list of ingredients. Not willing to let go so easily, I then turned to Procter & Gamble (manufacturer of the Always product line) and asked them what was in their products. Their answer was that they're not obligated to share this kind of information, because the European Union considers menstrual products as medical products. Oh well, ok then I guess, it's not like half the population is depending on these things or whatever. The only thing they could tell me was that they use wood pulp or an absorbing gel and glue. What the fuck people, my vagina is one of the most important parts of my body and let's face it, a very convenient part as well. We shouldn't forget that it gives us a lot of pleasure and for the people interested in the survival of our species, they're quite an important part of our procreation. So let's get real here: our vagina's deserve respect! They need the best care, so we deserve to know what they put in these products.
Luckily there are alternatives out there. I found out about this awesome Dutch company YONI, owned by two inspiring ladies. They sell their organic products online and their tagline "Chemicals are not for pussy's" makes it instantly clear what they stand for. You can also find biological menstrual products in your local bio shop and sometimes in your supermarket. Let's ride that biologically cotton pony!