The problem with pads and tampons

Eat healthily, drink some juice and go to the gym – we live in a world where its cool to make healthy choices.

We check our food’s nutritional value, see where it’s coming from and even try to switch to sustainable clothing.But we tend to overlook the other important factors that are considered unhealthy and unsafe.

Afterall, how well do we know our favorite sanitary pads?  We have been using them for a very very long time. As consumers, it is our responsibility to make sure that we buy products that won’t harm us or the environment.

So, what exactly is the problem?

Did you know that our skin is the largest organ in the body, and also the thinnest? Less than one-tenth of an inch separates our body from potential toxins. Anything coming in constant contact with your skin will be absorbed straight into your bloodstream, going directly to your delicate organs. Once in your body, they can accumulate because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down.

The vaginal area is highly vascular, meaning that a lot of small blood vessels run to this area. The skin is also especially thin down there, making it easier for plastic chemicals to enter the body that way.

And this impacts us in many ways,

Environmental Concerns

Did you know that one sanitary pad takes over 500 years to completely decompose? From an environmental perspective, a tremendous amount of these products end up in landfills and water treatment facilities. An average woman will use over 10,000 tampons/pads and sometimes, even more.

Multiply that with the number of women in the world, and we seem to be filling up the landfills at an alarming rate. Also, most of these pads contain plastic, which is problematic on its own.


We often don’t think about how things like pads can be a major source of plastic exposure. Our pads are made of plastic. Plasticizing chemicals like BPA and BPS disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer. Phthalates, which give paper tampon applicators a smooth finish, are known to disregulate gene expression.

Also, most pads have a certain amount of cotton.Like most crops, cotton crops are being sprayed with pesticides and herbicides that can definitely cause harm when they reach your bloodstream.These herbicides and pesticides are linked to thyroid malfunction, infertility and other health problems.Cotton is also not naturally ultra – white. But since most girls prefer something that is purely white, sanitary pad companies use a chemical called dioxin to bleach the cotton. A short-term exposure to dioxin can cause skin darkening and altered liver function. With long-term use,  it can cause serious health risks and diseases such as immune system damage, diabetes, hormone dysfunction, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cancer and others.  Besides this, conventional sanitary pads can also contain other potentially hazardous ingredients, such as odor neutralizers and fragrances.


Hell yes, there are. Listing down a few that we are aware of and have tried out ourselves. These are safe to use and not as harmful to the environment! Double win!

Menstrual Cups

A menstrual cup is exactly what it sounds like- a reusable soft sided cup that fits inside the vagina to collect menstrual flow. It is reusable, leak-proof and very comfortable.

Yes, it takes some time and practice to get used to using a menstrual cup, but once you get used to it, it is so much easier.

In India, its available at

ReUsable Pads

If you don’t want to use the menstrual cup, and the idea of organic pads and tampons is too expensive for you.. then you can opt for reusable pads.

Many of the reusable pads work wonderfully well, the only drawback is the inconvenience of having to wash them!

Available in India at,

Organic Pads and Tampons

Organic Pads & Tampons are easily available on Amazon and various other website.  They are made with Organic cotton and function the same as regular tampons and pads but are healthier, for you and the environment.

In India, there are multiple options available! Listing down a few websites where you can order them from)

2. Vivanion Pads

3. Saathi

4. Carmesi

Have you tried any of these alternatives before?! Tell us in the comments section below!

2 thoughts on “The problem with pads and tampons

  1. Kirthana

    I’ve been using a cup for over a year now and I have got to say, girls, you have no idea what you’re missing! Not only do you do the environment a huge favour, you also don’t have to worry about leakage, stains and changing every other hour. The only drawback (or lack thereof) is that it takes some time to get used to the feel and idea, and each time it’s a whole new experience in learning not just about the cup but about your body too.

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