HomeTagsPosts tagged with "tampons"


The first scientific review of the use of menstrual cups has confirmed that they're safe and as effective as tampons.

The research was published in The Lancet Public Health journal, and features 43 studies and data from 3,300 women and girls.

Four studies found that the levels of leakage were similar between menstrual cups, pads and tampons, but one found that leakage in menstrual cups was actually less than tampons.

Menstruation can have astronomical results on girls' schooling in particular, as well as women's experience of work. If women use poor quality sanitary products, it can increase their disposition to infections.

Menstrual cups collect rather than absorb period blood, and fit into the vagina as reusable products, unlike tampons. There have been recent calls for schools to provide plastic-free menstruation products for students, as tampons and pads are extremely unsustainable for the environment.

Combating 'period poverty' in both high and low-income countries has become more of a priority, thankfully, so it's imperative that policy makers know which sanitary products to include in menstrual health programmes and puberty education materials.

The review also discovered that awareness of menstrual cups among women was noticeably low, though they have been gaining in popularity. The main concerns over the product included pain and difficulty inserting or removing it, as well as chafing and leakage, but the data noted that complications were actually rare.

Senior author Professor Penelope Phillips-Howard from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK says;

“Despite the fact that 1.9 billion women globally are of menstruating age – spending on average 65 days a year dealing with menstrual blood flow, few good quality studies exist that compare sanitary products.

"We aimed to address this by summarising current knowledge about leakage, safety, and acceptability of menstrual cups, comparing them to other products where possible," Professor Phillips-Howard added.

Research from 13 of the studies discovered that around 70 percent of women would continue using menstrual cups once they were comfortable with how it worked.

Menstrual cups are made of soft, flexible material, such as rubber or silicone. They create a suction seal to stop any seepage of blood once inserted into the vagina. The cups collect more menstrual blood than tampons or sanitary pads, but must be emptied and washed regularly.

The two types include a vaginal cup, bell-shape and sits lower in the vagina, and a cervical cup which is placed higher up, like a diaphragm. The cup doesn't relate to your menstrual flow, so it's all about finding the right size to suit your own body. 

To insert, you simply fold the cup and place it into the vagina where it can unfold and form a leak-free seal. To remove, squeeze the bottom of the cup to release the seal and sterilise the cup between periods.


A post shared by  (@organicup) on

There are numerous brands to try, such as Mooncup, Saalt and Intimina Lily, but it can take a few attempts before you feel confident about using one. The cups are also extremely cost effective, as it can last for up to 10 years and can be reused every month. 

We highly recommend OrganiCup if you want to try a greener way of menstruating. Being reusable, rather than disposable, menstrual cups are seen as a far greener option for the environment than tampons and sanitary towels.

Researchers believe that making menstrual cups available globally could aid the fight against period poverty and health problems such as infections, even where water and toilet facilities are poor.

Feature image: Pinterest


Once a month us women have to endure the utter joy that is the period. Cramps, bleeding, headaches, tender boobs, backache and acne are just some of the things we have to cope with during our ‘time of the month’.

Many women will spot little signs that warns them their period is on the way, whether that’s feeling extremely emotional or suffering a massive breakout on your chin.

We gorge on as much chocolate as we want, dose ourselves up with Feminax and rush to the local Boots to make sure our sanitary product supply is well stocked up.

I’m sure we’ve all had that moment of dread when you’re out in public and your period decides to surprise you by making an unexpected appearance.

You have no tampons or pads in your bag, but luckily there’s a pharmacy on practically every street in Ireland so all you have to do is pop in and pick up some supplies.

To many, it isn’t a major purchase, but to 50 percent of Irish women sanitary products are a mass expense.

In a study conducted by Plan International, nearly 10 percent of participants admitted they have had no choice but to use a “less than suitable sanitary product” because of the cost.

There are girls as young as 12-years-old struggling to buy pads once a month, something that shouldn’t be happening in 2018.

In recent years, the women of Ireland have proved that together we can make a difference. We no longer underestimate our power, our strength and determination to make this country a better place for women.

There are so many things you can do to help tackle period poverty in Ireland.

1: Normalise periods:

For years, women have been too ashamed to talk about their period, even though it’s a completely natural thing that nearly every woman will experience at some point in her life. We mutter phrases like, “I have my thing,” or “It’s just a girly problem,” as we avoid eye-contact and blush with embarrassment. It’s time for us to realise that simply saying: “I have my period,” is perfectly acceptable.

2: Make a donation to Homeless Period Ireland

The wonderful people at Homeless Period Ireland are trying their best to supply homeless women with sanitary products, however, they can’t do it without the public’s generosity. A packet of pads cost less than the iced white chocolate mocha you buy, so why not cut back on your daily jaunts to Starbucks and purchase some sanitary products with that money instead. There are numerous donation drop off points all around Ireland, including Cork, Limerick and Dublin. See below for the full list of drop off points and donate sanitary supplies to your fellow sisters today.

3: Sign this petition to end period poverty in Ireland:

Too many women have to suffer through their time of the month without any sanitary products or a place to shower. Susan Colgan has launched a petition to introduce free sanitary products in Ireland.

She explained why we need free sanitary products: “Toilet paper is given out for free in almost every establishment nationwide. You wouldn't be expected to keep your own roll of toilet paper in your handbag when you go out to a nightclub, a restaurant or the cinema. It's always provided for you.”

She continued: “This is because it is considered a necessity, it would be morally wrong and unhygienic not to provide it, free of charge. This is the exact same thing when it comes to menstruation. It is not a choice.”

To sign the Free Sanitary Products in Ireland petition click here.



Low-income women in Scotland will no longer have to worry about period poverty, thanks to a government-funded trial scheme in Aberdeen that is now being expanded throughout the country.

The pilot programme distributed free sanitary products to more than 1,000 people in Aberdeen.

Now, over £500,000 is being given to the charity FareShare, in the hopes that the products will reach more than 18,000 menstruating people.

During the summer, the charity's centres in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Edinburgh will distribute pads and tampons to those in need.

As well, from August the products will be free for those at school, university, or college, making Scotland the first national government to do so.

Angela Constance, Scotland's equalities secretary, spoke frankly about the necessity of the ground-breaking scheme:

"It is unacceptable that anyone in Scotland should be unable to access sanitary products, and I am pleased that we are able to work with FareShare to make products available more widely through the services delivered by their partners."

Gillian Kynoch, the head of FareShare in Scotland, said on the matter, "We are excited to be working with the Scottish Government to use this network to make sanitary products available to people across Scotland.

"Our partners CFINE, Move On, Transform and Cyrenians will be supporting the distribution, working with low income and vulnerable people to break down taboos and stigma. This is an issue that has gone unheeded for too long."

We're happy to hear this scheme will ensure low-income women in Scotland receive basic necessities like pads and tampons.


We've all sat there and read the warnings on the box of tampons – but have you ever really thought about Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Probably not, to be fair.

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is rare, but potentially life-threatening illness, so it’s SO important to know the signs and symptoms. 

Toxic shock syndrome is typically associated with the use of tampons. The good news is that since manufacturers pulled certain types of tampons off the market, the incidence of TSS has declined.

Toxic shock syndrome can affect ANYONE (something we actually didn't know), including men, children and postmenopausal women.

Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome include skin wounds and surgery.

What are the symptoms?

Possible signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:

  • A sudden high fever
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles
  • Confusion
  • Muscle aches
  • Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
  • Seizures
  • Headaches

And the causes? 

Most commonly, Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria cause toxic shock syndrome. The syndrome can also be caused by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.


About half the cases of toxic shock syndrome associated with Staphylococci bacteria occur in women of menstruating age; the rest occur in older women, men and children. Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome occurs in people of all ages.

Toxic shock syndrome can progress rapidly. Complications may include:

  • Shock
  • Renal failure
  • Death

Prevention (the most important part of this article)

Most manufacturers of tampons no longer use the materials or designs that were associated with toxic shock syndrome. Also, manufacturers are required to use standard measurement and labelling for absorbency and to print guidelines on the boxes.

If you use tampons, read the labels and use the lowest absorbency tampon you can.

Change your tampons frequently, at least every four to eight hours. Alternate using tampons and sanitary napkins, and use minipads when your flow is light.

Toxic shock syndrome can recur. People who've had it once can get it again.

If you've had toxic shock syndrome or a prior serious staph or strep infection, don't use tampons.


When it comes to the clothes on our backs, many of us are conscious of how they were made, and what fabrics, chemicals, dyes and labour force were behind our clothing's creation. 

However, not all of us are so scrupulous when it comes to wondering what exactly make sus our sanitary products. 

Pads and tampons have continued contact with one of the most finely balanced, sensitive areas of our bodies, but rarely is there ever a conversation happening around what ingredients could be found in the colourful boxes in the 'feminine hygiene' aisle. 

Fashion Revolution is an innovative brand collective which encouraged fashion brands to be transparent and sustainable when it comes to their production. 

Now, Freda, a sanitary brand has joined them for the first time ever, and they're exposing what trace elements can be found in other brands of tampon and pad. 

From trace elements like chlorine and pesticides to synthetic fibres and artificial fragrances – there's a lot more than just pure organic cotton in some products.


Fashion Revolution is encouraging a discussion on the health of these ingredients, for both our bodies an the environment. 

'Across fashion, beauty, and food, consumers are seeking greater transparency, but when it comes to femcare, many of us are still buying the same products on auto-pilot,' said Freda founder Affi Parvizi-Wayne.

'In being honest about the ingredients and manufacture of our products, we’re equipping women with the knowledge they need to make an informed choice about the products they buy and the companies they support.'

'Our ethos is completely in line with that of Fashion Revolution, and we feel incredibly honoured to be the world’s first non-fashion brand to commit to these values, which are crucially important across all industries.'

So, make sure you read the back of the box before you pick up your preferred brand this cycle. 


All those warnings on tampon boxes about Toxic Shock Syndrome? Yeah, you should definitely be paying attention to them.

One UK student has revealed she ended up with severe blood poisoning, close to death, after forgetting about her tampon for nine full days.

Emily Pankhurst, 20, described to The Daily Mail how she assumed the pain and bloating she was feeling were just down to stress, as she was studying hard for upcoming university exams at the time.

"I blamed deadlines, returning to uni after the New Year and exams. Actually I was seriously ill," she explained, adding that she had simply inserted a new tampon, having forgotten to take the old one out.

"When I finally realised, I pulled it out it was pure black," she says of the moment she realised what she had done.

"I was feeling really ill by that stage. I was hot and dizzy and felt really strange.

"I wouldn't have known what it was apart from the string. It was horrible. I immediately chucked it in the loo, I felt sick."

However even after removing the forgotten tampon, Emily's symptoms continued to worsen, and she was eventually rushed to hospital with intense stomach pains and slurred speech.

"I was sat in the dark. I can't remember much, but mum said I kept repeating, "I feel ill – my stomach".

"'My speech slurred and my skin became mottled. I started to feel faint and I was rushed to hospital by ambulance.

"During the journey they said I was displaying all the symptoms of sepsis [blood poisoning] and so the blue lights were put on. I became an emergency case."

Thankfully Emily received medical treatment before the sepsis took hold of her body completely, but it was a long road to recovery.

"I was fed through a tube," she recalls, adding that she couldn't even use the toilet as normal.

"My bladder was full – I had two litres of urine in me – but I couldn't go to the toilet naturally and was given a catheter.

"I've never been in pain like it so was given morphine and doctors said if I had left it any longer I would be dead."

Even now, two months on, Emily is still feeling the consequences of her illness and finds she is constantly exhausted, needing up to 13 hours sleep a night to function.

Emily has shared her story to warn other women to be mindful of their health, especially in times of stress.

"I hope my story can help others to take care of their health and not take their lives for granted, because you never know what might be around the corner."


Jessica Valenti was writing a column about the availability and cost of feminine hygiene products across the globe, so she turned to Twitter for help, innocently asking: “Twitter friends: Anyone know a country where tampons are free or somehow subsidized?”

Perhaps she just should have googled it though, because the torrent of abuse that followed was nothing short of appalling:

“Can i also pay for ur toilet paper & ur vagina cream?Anything else u need f/ taxpayers just let me know. I gotcha!”

“Omg… Is this next? Please tell me this isn't next… I'm demanding free jock itch cream and hand lotion…”

“If you're so worried abt tampon availability, maybe U need 2 stick a few fingers in UR you-know-what to stem the bleeding.”

“I think she meant where they sell them oversized, for her giant gaping vagina.”

“Someone should tell her children are having their heads lopped off in #Iraq. Life is about perspective. #Tampons”

"Yeah, it's called the Middle East where they sew your vagina shut for being a loud mouth"

The journalist compiled a list of all the worst comments she received here. What no one can understand however, is why such an innocent question about women’s health resulted in such anger.

It looks as though this modern, feminist world we live in still isn't ready to accept that women genuinely need, and use, tampons.



Alicia Silverstone’s book, The Kind Mama, is aimed at mums to be, but she also has some advice for women in general.

The new book has caused much controversy surrounding Alicia’s views on motherhood and it doesn’t stop there!

The Clueless actress has claimed that tampons can make women infertile: “Unfortunately, feminine-care manufacturers are not required to tell you what’s in their products which means that noone’s talking about the potential pesticide residues from non-organic cotton and the ‘fragrances’ containing hormone-upsetting, fertility-knocking phthalates that you are snuggling up to your hoo-ha.”

Alicia also goes on to say that the vagina is the most absorbent part of the body, except she calls it a ‘chichi’.