Ok, so as far as witty, catching and soothing blog post titles go, this may not have been my best one. But I wanted to get the embarrassment factor out of the way first. If you can get past the title, and I really hope you can, you can manage the content. Still with me? Yay! Then let’s begin…
With the onset of menstruation now often beginning in girls around the age of 9, and menstrual flow apparently getting heavier in successive generations of women we, in Western society at least, are becoming increasingly exposed to a dangerous cocktail of chemicals, absorbent synthetics and bleaches in and around the vagina from the products we use every month. And these are damaging our health in a very real way.
Contrary to popular belief, vaginas are pretty good at looking after themselves. They have their own microbiome: colonies of bacteria that are responsible for monitoring infections, cellular health, lubrication and specific diseases. But unfortunately antibiotic use, certain contraceptives, deodorisers, “sanititisers” and all commercially produced tampons and pads all destroy this perfectly balanced eco-system. And that’s when things start to go wrong. Thrush, bacterial vaginosis, inflamed and sensitive genitalia, potentially even cancer.
And why? It’s to do with what materials are used in producing tampons and pads. Here are just a few of the problems: that pure looking cotton? Produced from GMO and heavily sprayed cotton crops. This cotton will have been bleached for cosmetic reasons and treated for bacteria, mould and fungus, not always effectively. Then treated with absorbency enhancers and possibly synthetic fragrances. And those pads? Those weird jelly like absorbency crystals with “odour neutralisers” release toxic chemicals that have a direct path to your reproductive system. It’s no wonder that women are suffering an increasing amount of “women’s ailments.”
Now there are a ton of different ways to encourage your vaginal microbiome back to a healthier climate. But this is one of Flojo’s Easy Detox Tips so lets just choose an easy one for now eh? Here are your easy instructions for claiming back your vaginal health:
- Read through the recommended reading from the links below. Education here is everything.
- Next I’d really like it if you went online and found yourselves some washable pads. You’re looking for some that are some kind of cotton and bamboo mix, possibly with a charcoal layer to safely absorb odours and stains. They’ll have poppers to secure them to your pants (no more accidentally sticking the pads to your delicate bits!) and to fold them shut in between use. And all you need to do is chuck them in the washing machine at the end of the day – no fabric conditioner please – and they’ll probably be dry by the morning if you hang them out to air. Yes, they might feel like a large outlay at first but I figure the average woman (whoever she is!) should have broken even within a couple of years.
- Finally, have a look into a silicon menstrual cup to replace your tampon use. Yes, they are a faff to get the hang of for a few cycles but it does get considerably easier. And you can use them while swimming. And, most importantly, many women (myself included) note a significant decline in the amount of blood lost over a few cycles. Have a look for various online communities discussing the merits of the different brands and the different ways to fold and insert the cups if you are interested.