The Reason Organic Tampons Are Better Is Not What You Think
You’ve probably seen or heard about organic tampons, since there are a bunch of super-trendy companies, like Lola and Conscious Period, making them right now. Many come in totally cute packaging, can be automatically delivered to your home once a month, and are made from 100 percent organic cotton. Not bad, huh? But is it absolutely necessary to switch from Tampax to organic tampons for health or environmental reasons? We talked to two OB-GYNs to get the full rundown on going organic.
People are buzzing about new tampon companies primarily because of women’s focus on personal health. Many organic tampon brands talk about toxins that can be absorbed into your body directly from tampons that are made from synthetic fibers, like rayon, as well as cotton that’s been grown conventionally with chemicals like pesticides. Since it’s true that the walls of your vagina are great at absorbing whatever you put in there (that’s why some medications are delivered vaginally), it makes sense that women would be concerned about potentially taking in chemicals from their non-organic tampons. We mean, yikes.
Dr. Kelly Culwell, an OB-GYN and chief medical officer at WomanCare Global, an organization that promotes awareness of women’s health issues, notes that “people in general, and women in particular, are becoming more aware of what they buy, ingest, and otherwise put into their bodies, which is definitely a good thing. However, there’s no compelling scientific evidence that organic tampons or pads are better than other options from a health standpoint.” Well, there you have it. Dr. Culwell is referring to the fact that there is no research at the moment that supports the idea that harmful toxins can be absorbed from conventional feminine products. On the other hand, advocates of organic products argue that there haven’t been any studies in the area yet, so it’s hard to know for sure that you’re not at risk.
Still, doctors say they don’t see any medical reason to make the switch at this point. “I could argue the converse and state that there is no data that demonstrates that synthetic products ARE absorbed,” says Dr. Nicole Williams, an OB-GYN with her own practice in Chicago, which incorporates both traditional medicine as well as a holistic approach. “In the ’70s and ’80s, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) was a major concern due to one tampon manufacturer, which was eventually pulled from the market. Today’s tampons are engineered to perform their job beautifully,” she adds. Plus, tampons are actually regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it’s their job to make sure anything that’s available for sale is totally safe to use. Because of this, Dr. Culwell states that she’s “not concerned about the safety of tampons or pads for the average woman.” One thing you should definitely skip out on, though? Any feminine products that are scented or deodorized, which can cause irritation and even allergic reactions.
One major upside to organic tampons, however, is that they’re *way* more environmentally friendly than conventional ones. Culwell notes that the environmental reasons for using organic products are more compelling than health reasons, especially when taking into consideration the damage that conventional farming can do to both the farm workers and the environment. “If this is a significant concern for a patient, I would encourage her to act according to her own values and principles,” she says, “but it’s also important to recognize that not all women can afford the additional cost of organic products.” True that.
So here’s the bottom line. While there’s no proven medical reason as of yet that you’d *need* to use organic tampons, there’s also no reason you shouldn’t use them if it makes you feel better or safer about what you’re putting into your body. Plus, if you want to help the environment, we say, right on!
Do use organic tampons? Why or why not? Tell us what you think @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
Want to feel motivated to take the next step for your business? Let Office Depot OfficeMax give you the confidence you need with a suite of business services & solutions to help you put your best foot forward. Make a good first impression with business cards & build the business pitch of your dreams with custom presentations. With Office Depot OfficeMax you'll find the tools to reach new customers with confidence.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.