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Commercial sanitary pads are heavily sold in the market. Reasonably so, considering their high popularity, easy availability, and cheerful advertisement, it is clear why more people are drawn to using sanitary pads than any other sanitary product.
But if you see it from the perspective of women’s health, choosing sanitary pads can become a huge mistake. It is time that women understand the disadvantages that come along with using sanitary pads.
Sujata Pawar, menstrual health expert and Founder and CEO of Avni – a startup focused on holistic menstrual care, spoke to HealthShots about the drawbacks of using sanitary pads.
Sanitary napkins or pads are filled with excessive chemical-induced perfumes, and when the menstrual blood is mixed with these chemicals, it can produce a smell that is even fouler. Hence, defeating the purpose of using these pads altogether. To avoid such an overwhelming smell from pads, doctors recommend changing the pad every 4 to 6 hours. However, the better option is to switch to a better sanitary product of your choice.
Pads are just as harmful to the environment too. As most of them are made from non-biodegradable products, including plastic, they take time to degrade and cause pollution. On burning these chemically-loaded napkins, several kinds of fumes are produced containing dioxins, which heavily pollutes the air. This puts the health at risk of those who inhale these harmful gases. As a precautionary measure, people must reduce the usage of sanitary pads and move on to something reusable like a menstrual cup.
Sanitary pads are made with material that blocks the moisture in it completely by absorbing it and generating ample heat down there. This makes it uncomfortable to wear and provides a perfect environment for bacterial growth to sustain. A warm and moist atmosphere can accelerate infection near one’s intimate region and lead to more problems.
Furthermore, the top layer of these pads is filled with chemicals that can cause a yeast infection when it comes in direct contact with the sensitive skin of the genital area.
Most sanitary pads available on the market are made for excessive use. Such chemicals can also cause organ damage. Some hydrocarbons present in them may also be carcinogenic, aka cancer-inducing agents. One such heavily used chemical is chlorine or its by-product like dioxin. These have the potential to cause ovarian cancer—making pads a more considerable health hazard than one can imagine.
Prolonged use of commercial sanitary pads can lead to dire consequences on one’s well being. Hence, before purchasing these menstrual products, women should be well aware of their composition and how they can affect their bodies. Buying these products only because they are inexpensive is a short-term advantage. However, in the big picture, ditching them for a healthier option can save money and the environment together. Switching to reusable period panties, menstrual cups and menstrual discs can be a better alternative – not just you, but also for the planet.