85 percent of menstruating women use tampons, but very little research has been done to confirm, or refute, their safety. As noted by Alexandra Scranton, Women’s Voices for the Earth director of science and research, tampons “are not just your average cosmetics because they are used on an exceptionally sensitive and absorbent part of a woman’s body.”
Back to Biology: Why Vaginal Chemical Exposure May Harm Your Health
Vulvar and vaginal tissues are more permeable than the rest of your skin, making them especially vulnerable to chemicals and other irritants. With mucous membranes, numerous blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels, the vagina provides a direct entryway for chemicals to circulate through the rest of your body. As reported by Scranton:
In fact, there is considerable interest in vaginal drug delivery systems because the vagina is such an effective site to transfer drugs directly into the blood without being metabolized first.
Research has shown that not only are chemicals rapidly absorbed and circulated through the rest of your body via your vagina, but some chemicals, like hormone-mimicking substances, may lead to higher than expected exposures in the rest of your body.
For instance, a vaginally applied dose of estradiol resulted in systemic estradiol levels 10 to 80 times higher than resulted from the …
If you’re using scented tampons, be aware that such products may contain any of the nearly 3,000 fragrance chemicals in use, and even unscented tampons may contain far more chemicals than even dioxins and pesticides. A recent analysis by WVE, which acquired public patent documents held by Proctor & Gamble (the maker of Tampax and Always), showed the following chemicals may be in your tampons:
Potential Health Hazards of Feminine Care Products Revealed
Tampons and pads are the most-used type of feminine care products, but significant numbers of women also use feminine wipes, washes, douches, sprays, and more (about 10 percent to 40 percent of women use these latter products, although rates rise significantly among African-American and Latina women). It’s important to understand that the vagina is typically “self-cleaning,” and use of douches is not recommended by the American Public Health Association or the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the latter of which also recommends against fragranced tampons and pads and feminine sprays and powders).
In fact, the use of douches is associated with increased bacterial infections. Furthermore, as mentioned, these products are often impure and as such may represent an ongoing source of exposure to chemical contaminants. “Chem Fatale” revealed the following potential health hazards from the chemicals that may exist in your feminine care products:
Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans (from the chlorine bleaching process), pesticide residues, and unknown fragrance chemicals. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and allergic rash.
Hazardous ingredients may include dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, unknown fragrance chemicals, and adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile. Exposure concerns include cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption. Studies link pad use to allergic rash.
Hazardous ingredients may include methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, parabens, quaternium 15, dmdm Hydantoin, and unknown fragrance chemicals. Exposure concerns include cancer and endocrine disruption. Studies link wipe use to allergic rash.
Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, dmdmHydantoin, d&c red no.33, ext d&cviolet #2, and fd&cyellow #5. Exposure concerns include endocrine disruption, allergic rash, and asthma.
Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals and the spermicide octoxynol-9. Studies link douche use to bacterial vaginosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, cervical cancer, low-birth weight, preterm birth, HIVtransmission, sexually transmitted diseases, ectopic pregnancy, chronic yeast infections, and infertility.
Feminine deodorant (sprays, powders, and suppositories)
Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, and benzethonium chloride. Exposure concerns include reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and allergic rash.
Feminine anti-itch creams
Hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, methylisothiazolinone, and an active ingredient, benzocaine, a mild anesthetic. Exposure concernsinclude endocrine disruption, allergic rash, and unresolved itch.
In addition, it would be wise to minimize, or eliminate, your use of other unnecessary feminine care products, including douches, deodorants, sprays, and wipes. If you are struggling with vaginal dryness or odor, a knowledgeable natural health care practitioner can help you get to the bottom of the underlying problem.
Please Read this Article at Articles.Mercola.com
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