For decades, the stigma surrounding periods has been convincing people with vaginas that they need to take extra measures to stay fresh and clean during their monthly cycle. In fact, there is no proof of these claims, but it doesn't stop thousands of people from purchasing and using scented pads every year. What these people may not realize is that doing so could be dangerous.
They Mess Up Your pH Balance
Your vagina is self-cleaning, and when you wear scented products to try to mask the (non-existent) smell of your period, you are allowing hundreds of ingredients to rest against your vagina, of which many of them can mess with your pH balance. When the vagina can't self-clean efficiently, you are actually more at risk of having an odor than if you were to use unscented pads.
They Can Cause Infections
Are you wondering "do scented pads cause yeast infections?" The answer is that they often do. When your vagina's pH balance is messed up, it means there is not enough good bacteria in your system. That good bacteria are what keeps bad bacteria from growing too strongly. When the bad organisms can grow freely, they are more likely to cause itching and irritation or even a full-blown case of Bacterial Vaginosis.
They Could Contain Other Dangerous Ingredients
Scented sanitary pads could contain hundreds more ingredients than traditional or organic tampons or pads contain. Feminine hygiene products are already grossly underrepresented when it comes to product testing, and many times, the people who buy them have no idea what chemicals they could be putting into their bodies. This is even more true for scented products. Fragrances are considered trade secrets. This means that the companies creating them and adding them to pads do not need to provide consumers with any information about the fragrances, including the ingredients used to make them. That means people who have allergies or sensitivities to certain scents or materials could be exposing themselves unknowingly.
Potential Side Effects of Scented Pads
So, what are the side effects of wearing a scented pad? There are plenty. For one thing, you could be exposed to dioxin. When dioxin collects in your fatty tissues, you could see a range of other symptoms. These possible side effects include the growth of abnormal tissue on the reproductive organs, abnormal cells throughout the body, the suppression of the immune system, hormone disruption, and much more.
What Happens When You Wear a Pad Too Long?
Of course, even if you choose to purchase organic pads, it is important to change them regularly. When you don't change your sanitary pads every few hours, you can cause other serious issues. Wearing damp pads for too long can cause you to get a rash on the skin, lead to urinary tract infections or yeast infections, or even cause the odor you were trying to avoid in the first place. If you have a normal or light flow, change your pad about every six hours. If it is heavy, you will need to do it more often. Check out your options for organic pads to ensure you remain safe and healthy during your menstrual period.