For most of us, especially at this point of our lives, we pay attention to our bodies. It is important that we take care of ourselves, what we put in and what we put on. To be conscious and collected, which means being educated, motivated and aware. So it genuinely shocked me when I came to realize how lazy and careless I have been surrounding my menstrual cycle. For some time, I was carefully tracking using one of those fancy apps as a monthly guide but the rollercoaster of being late, thinking I was pregnant, for good or bad, was exhausting. Now I just rely on gentle reminders from my body to let me know my period is on it's way, however, these hints are not motivating enough to get me prepared for the necessary means. Instead, each time it starts, I am caught off guard and act all surprised. Which is baffling to me considering I can literally feel it coming on days before. It must be some old teenage baggage of avoidance. I love the female body and all... I just can't be bothered with menstrual cycles. As a result, I am left in dire straits; tearing at every bag, every bathroom drawer, secret pockets, first aid kits, mumbling to myself 'there must be one in here... how do I have none... I swear I saw one over here a few weeks ago!' Nothing. Since I don't have provisions I am dashing off the closest store, gas station, 7 Eleven, where ever will possibly sell tampons. Which leaves me in a situation where I am purchasing the worst of the worst: non-organic cotton, synthetics like rayon, chemicals like bleach and BPA plastic applicators. I hit a real low point recently when all that was on offer were scented tampons, yes scented. I did not even know this existed. The last time I saw something scented like this were the garbage bags at target and that even freaked me out. However, I had no option and literally cringed when I went to pay. The closest market which sells natural organic tampons is just not close enough for a emergency situation. You all know that feeling... when you are just not going to make it!! Well, while I was in the bathroom as I was quivering at the thought, I turned the box over to check the ingredients: Cotton, Rayon, Polyester, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Fiber Finishes, Fragrance. I asked myself why did it take so long for this light bulb to go off in my brain. Forever, I was using natural tampons and liners, how did I become so careless. Sometimes it takes something big to actually make changes and for me that was it, I was done. From now on I am buying in bulk every time I hit the health food stores. Adding pouches in every bathroom, filling up the hiding spots, the car, wash bags, basically all the places I look when I am searching desperately. As a result of my light bulb moment, I wanted to share this experience with you. Because I am sure there are some of you out there, just like me who stopped making the effort and need me to switch that light on for you. I wish someone would have for me as it's been a year now of using this toxic overload.
When I set out to do this post, I was going to suggest my go to brands (for those days that I actually had bought natural tampons ahead of time) such as; Natracare or Seventh Generation. However, I did a little research to see what other brands are out there. This is when Lola literally jumped out on my desktop. Listen to the brains behind this, a subscription service to tampons. Am I just late to the game or does this answer all my tampon prayers. No more last minute dashes to markets and resolved my low storage concern of buying natural tampons in bulk. Organic cotton tampons, curated to my specific flow needs will be delivered to my door monthly. Genius. On their site they discuss the importance of using non-toxic tampons which I will get to in a minute. You have the freedom to customize your products, assortment and delivery frequency. They have options for applicators and non-applicators, as well as liners and pads. Depending on how you flow, you can add as many or as little of the light to super plus range. This suits my needs impeccably. Currently the natural tampons on the market are limited in choice, they do not even do an assorted box based on flow strength. I definitely have some days where I need that super or that light, but not an entire box! Sorry did I just over share? Lola has also crossed the line from granola hippie products to modern sophistication. The packaging is perfect, chic, discreet and simple. Their branding is really setting a trend for periods to be apart of the conversation and not something to be shameful of. We all have periods, we can all relate, let's open this up as there is noting to be embarrassed about. Lola is also supporting teenagers with this movement, they have curated the First Period Box. Raising awareness to first times in a clean and practical way but keeping it fun, something to actually be proud of not secretive.
Lola is a great concept. I ordered diapers through a subscription for the very same reasons, so why not for my tampons. It is not going anywhere soon! My only complaint about Lola so far is the use of plastic. The packaging is beautiful, however, I would much prefer if the applicators were made from biodegradable cardboard (which I know for some is not the most pleasant, which is why I personally use no applicators) or at the very least a sustainable plant based material like The Honest's Company's 'plastic' applicator. Being BPA free simply means they are using other chemicals to soften the plastic, is it not much better for you nor the environment. Packaging is a seller for most people so I understand the need to wrap the applicators and pads in plastic to protect them, but it has to be said that it is not the most sustainable. To give Lola credit though, they give back! So far they have donated 100,000 feminine care products to low-income women and girls across the U.S. Many of these women have to choose between buying menstrual products for themselves or other essentials for their families. If you are interested in Lola, sign up now and get one free box on the first shipment of two boxes!!
Now for the facts. Lets get real about what these toxins are doing inside our bodies and why it is so essential we stay clear of these tampon products. In our lifetime we are to use around 10,000 menstrual products. The vagina is a mucus membrane and the lining does absorb whatever you put into your body. If we look at what is being used in non-organic tampons and the knowing that these ingredients are being soaked up inside us, it is quite alarming. The pesticides used on non-organic tampons, is basically the same as everything we know about eating non-organic grown foods. The process of bleaching the non-organic cotton contains dioxin, which is in the same family as agent orange. It has been shown to lead to immune system suppression and abnormal cell growth. Also an endocrine disrupter which has been linked to endometriosis or even cancer. The plastic applicators contain phthalates, which are also endocrine disrupters linked to more health hazards. Also, for the environment the petroleum used for the plastic tubes are not renewable, they are indestructible and a risk to our marine life. The FDA has no mandatory safety guidelines for the materials used in tampons. The only regulation forced is based upon absorbency. They also do not have to disclose the ingredients to any other that are used when manufacturing. While these toxic tampons are absorbent they shed the inside of the body and leave potential bacteria collecting havens behind, potentially increasing your fish of getting the dangerous bacteria infection known as TSS (toxic shock syndrome). Tampons which are 100% organic do not shed as they are made from tightly interlocked cotton fibers. Organic cotton tampons sure do cost more and some may find the absorbency not to be the best but let us take in to account all of the above; less risk for toxic overload and potential health risks. Especially for our young growing teenagers.
There are many great sustainable, natural, organic tampons out there. I am choosing to use Lola because of the modern convience. I want to give myself the best opportunity to stay away from toxic tampons, with my busy lifestyle this has proven challenging for me. So a subscription service, although not 100% perfect in my eyes with their use of plastic, still suits me better. I suggest you try and find the right brand for you and your values.