My First Period:
At ten years old, I got my first period. My mother never explained periods to me, or anything else for that matter, but luckily, that was the year my 5th grade class took Sex Ed. I spent hours upon hours in the local library reading books about the female and male anatomy and how they work, separately and together. It was the only way I was going to learn. I checked out a few books and hid them under my bed, reading them in the middle of the night or right after school, before my mother came home from work. I had my period for over a year before my mother found out, and even then, she never sat me down to explain the process or the protection I would need. Thank God for books!
My First Tampon:
So, when I started bleeding "you know where," I knew what I needed and where to go to get it. I scaled the wall that separated our apartment complex and the neighborhood K-Mart, entered into the outdoor gardening section, and looked for a product small enough to steal. I was ten years old and having a secret first period. I was desperate.
Wearing one of my mother's overnight maxi pads, I scoured the feminine protection aisle, wondering how I would get one of those big tampon boxes open to grab what was inside and hide them in my windbreaker. After all, if I bought pads, my mother would know I had gotten my period and neither of us wanted to have that awkwardly personal conversation with one another. My mother and I have always been strangers.
Then, I came across this small little box with nearly twenty tampons inside, just small enough to shove into my pocket. OB tampons, sans applicators (so my mother wouldn't notice), were my very first tampon and for the next 25 years, I wouldn't use anything different. Until now.
While looking for a box of OB Tampons at my local CVS, I came across Organyc Tampons and at half the price, no less! At just $4.00, they were a steal (though I no longer steal tampons) and they were organic to boot! So, I chose their applicator-free variety, went home to test their effectiveness, and was not disappointed––not one single bit.
I'm sorry to break the news to you, but your current tampon is killing you. Here is a bit of information found at Organic Health:
- Almost all sanitary napkins or tampons are made with bleached rayon, cotton, and plastics. How safe do you feel knowing that these chemicals are going near your vagina? They leave behind fibers that can cause bladder, vaginal infections, and toxic shock syndrome. Chlorine creates toxic dioxin, which is associated with abnormal tissue growth in reproductive organs, immune system suppression, and even hormonal endocrine system disruption.
- Rayon is a fiber that is made from cellulose. Cellulose is a natural fiber, but to produce Rayon, chemical procedures are needed including: carbon disulphate, sulfuric acid, chlorine, and caustic soda. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, chest pain, headaches, and much more.
- Conventional tampons contain pesticides. Cotton crops make up just 2.4 percent of the world’s land, but each year, a whopping $2 billion is spent on pesticides to spray this one crop.
- Tampons and pads with odor neutralizers and other artificial fragrances are nothing short of a chemical soup laced with artificial colors, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol (PEG), contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, dryness, and infertility.
- Conventional tampons most probably contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According the USDA, 94 percent of all the cotton planted in the US is genetically engineered.
Yeah, pretty scary stuff and the kind of stuff no one tells you. I strongly suggest you do a little research and find the period protection product that is best for you. Here are a few other alternatives to get you started:
As always, the entire purpose behind The Gorgeous Girl's Guide is to help keep our readers healthy, and healthy is gorgeous! Though things like this may seem irrelevant to your exterior aesthetics, everything you put in and on your body leaves a mark. Let's do our best to be sure we leave a healthy, more beautiful mark!
New York Times bestselling author and founder of The Gorgeous Girl's Guide, Steffans Publishing Enterprises, and Karrine & Co.