4 reasons why you’ve got to stop using scented sanitary pads. P.S. Your vagina will thank you for it

Updated on:7 January 2020, 17:35pm IST
Trying to conceal your period odour by using scented sanitary napkins can be the biggest mistake of your life, ladies. Here’s why
Sonakshi Kohli
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Your sanitary napkin might smell of roses, but it’s actually harbouring a lot of bacteria. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

A woman in an all-white outfit steps out on the first day of her heavy period and makes heads turn—not because of her Jitender-inspired fashion statement. But because she smells so good—despite her period!

If ads for scented sanitary pads have convinced you to start using one to conceal your period odour–you could be making the biggest mistake of your life. Here’s why scented sanitary napkins are an absolute no-no:

1. Scented sanitary napkins are actually counterproductive
“When your menstrual blood mixes with chemical perfumes on sanitary pads, it can lead to foul smell. So, instead of masking the odour, it can worsen it,” points out Dr Gandhali Deorukhkar Pillai, obstetrician and gynaecologist, Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai.

Hence, she recommends changing your pad every four to six hours regardless of how heavy or light your period flow is instead of using a scented pad in order to avoid the odour.

Also read: 6 things every woman can relate to on the first day of her period

2. They can make matters down there even worse
“Sanitary napkins are made using absorbent material that blocks the moisture and generate heat. Using a scented sanitary napkin for a long duration can result in the growth of bacteria due to the moist and warm environment it creates down there,” points out Dr Pillai.

scented sanitary pads
Those great smelling menstrual pads can actually be counterproductive! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Wait, there’s more! She further warns against the chemicals present on the top layer of the scented pad coming in direct contact with your sensitive labial and vaginal skin as they can cause a yeast infection.

3. That artificial fragrance is more harmful than you think
Obviously, the scent comes with a heavy dose of chemicals on the sanitary napkin, which can have more serious health consequences than you could imagine. “These chemicals can cause organ damage and the hydrocarbons might even be carcinogenic,” warns Dr Tripti Saran, senior consultant, obstetrics and gynaecology department, BLK Super Speciality Hospital, Delhi.

4. They are terrible for the environment too
Not only do the scented napkins add to the non-biodegradable plastic waste, which is harmful to the environment, the toxic fumes containing dioxins and furan produced by burning these chemically-laden pads can make the air pollution and the health of those inhaling the fumes worse according to Dr Saran.

So for your sake and that of the environment, stop using scented sanitary pads.

Also read: Is it okay to wear a tampon to bed? This is what gynaecologists have to say

Instead, try these ways of controlling the period odour, as recommended by Dr Pillai:

  • Bathe daily and if required, even twice a day.
  • Use a mild vaginal wash to clean your intimate area thoroughly.
  • Cultivate the habit of changing your sanitary pad or tampon every 4-6 hours, regardless of how light/heavy your menstrual flow is.
  • Avoid douching or inserting anything inside your vagina to cleanse it as the vagina is a self-cleaning organ.
  • Ditch tight leggings, thongs, and synthetic underwear. Instead, use breathable, cotton ones to avoid odour and irritation.
  • In case a fishy odour persists, see a doctor as it can be due to a pre-existing bacterial infection or even a STI.

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Sonakshi Kohli Sonakshi Kohli

Twenty kilos down and struggling to maintain the weight loss by preaching healthy eating, while eating unhealthy every now and then.