The issue of safe feminine hygiene products is rarely discussed but it’s a vitally important topic for females across the globe.
Did you know that the average woman menstruating for five days a month across an approximate life span of 38 years will use a whopping 11,400 tampon or sanitary pads in her lifetime, with her body coming in direct contact with these products for 2,200 days.
2,200 days of tampon exposure is just over 6 years - an insane amount of time for us to be putting something in, or on, our body that may contain ingredients that are dangerous and certainly not conducive to our optimal health.
Ok, back to basics. What’s going on here?
First up, it’s good to understand that the skin is the largest organ on the body but also the thinnest.
What this means is that toxins have less than 1/10th of an inch to move through to enter the body. Think, easy access! Also, unlike ingesting toxins via mouth - the vaginal area does not have a protective barrier (equivalent to enzymes in saliva or stomach acid that both help provide a first line of defence to toxins being ingested).
In addition to the thin barrier to entry, your skin is also highly permeable and anything coming in constant contact with it may move through into the bloodstream for distribution out into your wider body.
As we now understand with a leaky gut (check out or recent blog post on the Gut Skin Axis for more info),
toxins circulating around the body and bloodstream where they are not meant can have significant negative effects on our short, mid and long term health. In fact, the potential impacts are endless.
At Agent, we are so passionate about developing products that are safe and effective for all areas of life that as we went deeper into this topic and understood how fragile the vaginal area is, it led Jena to pioneer the development of our h o l i ( s e x ) intimate oil - made so that you can revere, hydrate, warm and enhance your most intimate areas and relationships, safely.
What does this mean for tampons?
Ok, back to what’s in these products.
Using tampons (or sanitary pads) on the regular means contact of these products over an extended period of time with one of the body’s most porous and highly absorbent mucous membranes.
The real problem? What’s in these tampons.
You might not have thought about this before but tampons and pads are ultra white, ultra clean and super ‘fresh’. Have you ever thought about how they get this way?
This fresh white appearance is achieved through the use of a variety of products - predominantly chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach, when broken down, is known to create dioxin (highly toxic) and other disinfection by-products such as the chemical trihalomethane.
According to an EPA draft report, the highly toxic dioxin is a serious public health threat that has no "safe" level of exposure! Read that again. Something that has no safe level of exposure is connected to products that the average female will use for over 6 years of their life.
Published reports show that even trace levels of dioxin may be linked to:
- Abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
- Abnormal cell growth throughout the body
- Immune system suppression
- Hormonal and endocrine system disruption
Is Dioxin the biggest culprit?
No. The problems don’t stop there. On top of chlorine bleach and the byproducts, rayon and viscose (other materials that are also found in tampons) present another potential danger because of their highly absorbent fibers. These fibers stick to your vaginal wall, further raising your risk of toxic shock syndrome when using tampons. Wow.
Yes! Unfortunately, when you dig deeper, the challenges don’t stop here.
You may have recently read our blog article Is glyphosate secretly sabotaging your skin's collagen production? where we dug into what glyphosate, pesticides and GMOs are and why they are so prolific in society.
The USDA states that 94% of all US cotton is genetically engineered meaning that it is sprayed with pesticides such as glyphosate.
When we understand that tampons are made from cotton crops, we understand that there is a direct connection and correlation between the tampons we use and the pesticides and GMOs used to grow the ingredients that make them.
In fact, a recent study from researchers at the University of La Plata in Argentina showed “Eighty-five percent of all samples tested positive for glyphosate and 62 percent for AMPA” [a derivative of glyphosate]. Plus, in the case of cotton and sterile cotton gauze tampons only - the figure was 100 percent!
So, on top of a variety of chemicals and toxic ingredients in these products, we also have to battle with the concern of glyphosate and pesticides entering us, and our blood stream, every time we use a tampon.
The connection between glyphosate and sulfates
The dangers of glyphosate continue because glyphosate also interferes with the body’s ability to turn natural sulfites from food into sulfates that the body needs to detoxify and stay healthy.
Sulfates help to detox the body, heal the gut and also help with the absorption of many key nutrients the body needs to function properly, like manganese.
Sulfates also help clear brain fog and improve memory so without sulfates the body is unable to perform as it is meant to.
At Agent, we love taking MSM for it’s high sulphur content and its ability to help our body detoxify from the glyphosate it has come into contact with. It’s a sulfur-containing compound found in foods but can easily be taken in supplement form too.
To incorporate more MSM / sulfate sources into your diet, focus on incorporating garlic, onions, basil, parsley, cilantro and cumin, eggs with yolks, beef liver, chicken and all seafood - as well as cruciferous vegetables and organic bone broth.
MSM has a wide array of benefits and anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in relation to increasing glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant and is crucial for the overall health and function of the immune system. The correct levels of glutathione will also help to restore depleted vitamins back to normal levels and help your body function as it is meant to.
What else can we do about this glyphosate problem?
At Agent, whilst we believe that the above is scary, we always say that awareness is the first key to change and that knowledge is power.
Understanding what is in these products that we may have been using for months, years, or even decades, can help us look forward and make different choices that will support our optimal health and longevity.
When considering making alternate product choices, look for products that are made of natural materials that are plastic-free, certified organic, chlorine free also with no fibre loss. Brands such as Natracare are widely available and a great alternative.
If you’re worried about your levels of glyphosate that you might have come into contact with so far then we would suggest you head over to our Agent blog on “How to Detoxify Your Body from Glyphosate” where we work through a whole range of information as well as tips and tricks to help detoxify your body from any glyphosate exposure you might have come into contact with so far.
To feminine care - the natural way!
By Louise Rumball / @iamlouiserumball
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST***