Organic Tampons vs. Regular Tampons

 

 

If your period product of choice are tampons, you may have seen advertisements circulating for organic tampon brands like “Lola.” Organic tampon brands have become widespread, adding to the multitude of choices on the period product aisle of your local Target or drug store. Some of us may be wondering if there’s a difference. Should we make the switch over from our current trusted brand? 

The big difference between organic tampons and conventional tampon brands is what the tampon is made out of. According to an article from Women's Health Magazine, organic tampons are usually made out of 100% cotton and conventional tampons are made out of rayon or non-organic cotton. On their website, Tampax explains that their “Tampax Pearl” tampons have an absorbent core made out of cotton and/or rayon of varying levels that have been optimized for performance, a thin fabric made out of polyethylene and polypropylene, a string made out of cotton with polypropylene braid, and a thread that is polyester. On Lola's website, they claimed their tampons and other period products are made only from organic cotton. If you’re loyal to Tampax to the end, but still want organic cotton, Tampax released their own organic tampon line “Tampax Pure and Clean.” It should be noted that according to their website these tampons have a string that is cotton with a polypropylene braid and a polyester thread. So not 100% organic cotton, but close. 

Does any of this matter? According to Dr. Alyssa Dweck, a gynecologist who spoke to Insider and Women’s Health Magazine, said there are no differences in the effect that the tampons can have on your body. No matter which tampon brand you prefer, you need to take the proper precautions against Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) by leaving the tampon in for no more than eight hours, and by using the lowest absorbency for your flow (so not a super on a light day). There has been concerns about dioxin levels in tampons, a byproduct from when tampons are bleached with chlorine. Dioxin at high enough doses, according to the World Health Organization, can cause cancer, reproductive problems, and damage to the immune system. While that sounds alarming, tampon manufacturers are required by the FDA to monitor dioxin levels, who then claim that tampon manufacturers use purification methods that reduce the formation of dioxins to almost undetectable levels. Because of this, Dr. Dweck advises that you should not be worried. 

The only clear benefit to the use of organic tampons is that they are always fragrance-free. If you are more sensitive and are irritated by the ingredients in conventional tampons, organic brands will be beneficial for you. 

You need to also consider price and ease of use. The period product brand Lola operates on a subscription basis. On their website you can choose from a variety of period products (tampons, liners, pads, cleansing wipes, and a couple of cramp care products) and sexual health products (condoms, lube, and cleansing wipes). Lola also features a first period kit + guide, and a sexual wellness kit. You decide what you want : a box of 18 tampons for $10? Liners or pads for $9? Lola also lets you customize your tampon box and decide how many light, regular, super, and super + tampons you would like based on what you know about your flow. After you’ve made your choices, you pick how often you want each product delivered to you. For example, you might decide to have your tampons delivered every month and your liners delivered every two. It is then it is all shipped for FREE and WITHOUT tax to your doorstep. The biggest plus is definitely not the price, but that the products are delivered to you before your period every month. You no longer have to worry about not making a trip to the store in time prior to your period. I know we’ve all been there, and have had the moment when you realize that you don’t have enough of something the morning of. 

Lola’s website links to Tax Free Period which features information about the “Tampon Tax,” including a map of the USA that you can use to see if your state taxes tampons. Lola has partnered with Period Equity, a law and policy organization that fights for menstrual equality, mobilize legal action across the country and end this tax. Their goal is for periods to no longer be taxed by Tax Day of 2020. On their site, you can sign your name on the Legal Action Declaration to show that you support the removal of this tax and they will send you information about what happens next, your state, and how you can put pressure on them to remove the tax if they haven’t already. 

What it really boils down to is personal preference. If you take comfort in knowing exactly what your tampons are made of, then switching over to an organic brand could be a good choice for you. But, if you’re content with your current brand ,then thats a-ok because there are no dire reasons to make a switch. At the end of the day, it’s your body. Do what is best for you!