We Asked College Women If They Know What’s Really In Their Period Products & Sh*t Got Real

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% our own.

Hell-ish cramps, mood swings, bloating, breakouts, aches and pains — the list of period symptoms that we’re forced to deal with literally goes on. As if periods weren’t bad enough alone, buying period products is the icing on the cake. From choosing the right brand, absorbency and size, to dealing with the annoying pink tax that comes with them, buying tampons and pads isn’t necessarily something we look forward to doing.

But, LBR: are we giving enough thought to what’s really in our period products? These are things we usually don’t think about (and TBH, don’t like to think about), considering period products aren’t required to be regulated on their ingredients. Brands don’t even have to disclose what ingredients they’re using (yikes). We’ve teamed up with Seventh Generation, an innovator in the organic fem-care industry, to ask real college women if they’ve ever thought about what’s really in their periods and tampons. Here are what women really think about period products, because we deserve to be kinder to our bodies.

Do you know what’s in your period products?

“If you want me to be honest: I don’t know any of the ingredients in my tampons or pads.”

“I know I have a rough idea of the ingredients, being cotton and rayon. But I know there’s definitely chemicals used in the mix. I do try to avoid anything with noticeable fragrances or odor fighting tools because I’m generally against anything trying t make a vagina smell like anything other than a f*cking vagina.” 

“For the most part, I know what’s in my period products! It’s something I researched a couple of years ago because a certain tampon brand was causing irritation when I used it. So, I switched to using organic products mainly for my own comfort, not necessarily because I was smart enough at that point to be trying to avoid toxic chemicals.”

“I use tampons and know they’re unscented, but to be honest, that’s all I really know about them.”

Did you know that most mainstream/popular pads and tampons have chlorine and fragrances? How does that make you feel?

“I do know there were fragrances, and I feel like I’ve started paying more attention, but I just need to pull the trigger and make the switch to organic tampons.”

“I did know that, which is why I’ve ventured into other period product territory beyond old-school tampons. I feel really discouraged that period products feel so anti-period. I don’t want a product to pretend my period isn’t gross or complicated. I never want to feel like I’m messing with my body’s own system.”

“All the research that’s newly out about what’s really in pads + tampons is terrifying AF. I feel like women probably buy into “fresh scent” idea or just go with what’s cheapest without ever stopping to think that what they’re using on their period pose actual risks.”

“I’m pissed about the use of unnecessary chemicals like that in any product, let alone one that is going into my vagina.”

“I feel like it’s becoming a much larger conversation than ever before. It’s concerning because, while I know I’m pulling toxins into my body through my tampons, I still don’t know much. What are the long-term effects? What kind of toxins exist?”

Should period product brands be obligated to do better and use safer, natural ingredients?

“I would love if all products made for women's health were actually healthy. Why can’t it just be regulated?”

“Those ingredients can seriously irritate your body —not being transparent about the materials is honestly unethical”

“If I’m putting that thing in my body, abso-fucking-lutely I should know the ingredients and know they’re safe.”

“They should be as transparent as the average food label — I mean, it’s going on or in your body, so it should be held to the same level of safety standard.”

Periods can be a lot less awful when you know you're using products that are good for you and the Earth. Our friends at Seventh Generation make environmentally-friendly, organic period products that are free of chlorine, added fragrances and deodorants, and other unnecessary chemicals that are found in some of the most popular period product brands. So even though periods can be a huge pain, at least you have the option to choose products that you can feel good about.