ALL disposable pads and tampons are made of some wonky stuff. There are all sorts of chemicals in the average disposable pad/tampon, things that I don’t want anywhere near my (or your) vagina. Very few companies list ingredients, so we can’t know exactly what they’re using. However, I can tell you this: one reason why periods are heavier when you use disposable tampons it that many companies use rayon to increase absorbency. Rayon actually can cause teeny tiny cuts inside your vagina because of how rough it is, and increase the amount of bleeding. This also increases your likelihood of an infection. Rayon loves to harbor bacteria, and when the tampon is removed, bacteria-laden rayon fibers can be left behind in the vagina, increasing the likelihood of Toxic Shock Syndrome or other bacterial infections.
Even though tampons come beautifully packaged in plastic or paper, they’re not sterile. There’s no saying what they touched in the factory before being packaged. Both pad and tampons are also made with super-absorbent acrylic polymers and gels, bleached pulp or viscose rayon from tree cellulose, and pads have plastic backings, which trap in moisture and bacteria. Some pads have plastic mesh over the top as well (the part that touches your vulva), which not only is unnecessary plastic exposure, but can irritate your labia and chafe where it touches your thighs.
So, while I don’t think there’s anything specially wrong with Always brand pads, I am always going to suggest that you switch to a reusable or organic method. I’m all for protecting your sensitive bits.
There are some amazing reusable pads out there.
Look at those beautiful pads from Party In My Pants!
There are more over at Lunapads - they’re actually having a sale on cloth pads right now.
Don’t forget that if you prefer tampons, you can easily switch to reusables like a menstrual cup or sea sponge, and some people even make reusable tampons by crocheting or rolling up fabric.
I also get a lot of questions from people who want to know if wearing a pantyliner every day is fine.
It’s the same answer - I would really suggest not using disposable, plastic pantyliners on a daily basis. Instead, I would switch to a reusable cloth pantyliner (there are some great ones available if you google around, or you can make your own).
I’m also super excited about this option - Lunapanties.
I don’t know if any other brands make similar ones, but basically absorbent gusset panel permanently sewn in, making them an all-in-one replacement for disposable Pads and Pantyliners. Lunapanties make great everyday underwear, and can also be used for menstrual flow. They sound awesome to me.
Go check them out!