With the topic of menstruation being discussed behind closed doors, young girls are deprived of proper education on menstrual hygiene. This, in turn, results in countless feminine-related medical problems that come from the inappropriate use of products during their cycle. Apart from being harsh on the skin, the conventional sanitary napkins, made mostly of plastic, gel and other harmful chemicals, pose a major threat to the environment as well, especially at a time when more environmentally friendly cotton pads and tampons coming up. With expert opinion from Dr MNV Pallavi, the chief obstetrician, and gynecologist at HER Clinic, Vizag, here are a few alternatives to the conventional sanitary napkins.
Alternatives to conventional sanitary napkins
#1 Biodegradable pads and Tampons
We are well aware of the regular pads and tampons used on a daily basis. Slowly, but steadily, businesses are coming up with more sustainable and biodegradable pads, mostly made of cotton, which are easy to use and not harsh on the skin. These products are on the higher side of the price tag compared to the regular ones. But hey, it’s all for Mother Nature right?
“I have come across many patients reporting various skin ailments caused by the constant use of sanitary pads made of plastic and dioxins. Switching to cotton-based pads and tampons is a healthier option,” says Dr Pallavi.
#2 Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are becoming more popular among young working women. With a lack of proper public washroom facilities, women find it difficult to tend to their feminine needs on the go. Menstrual cups prove to be convenient and comfortable for many. Moreover, they prove to be extremely economical, Spending a maximum of 500 bucks on a cup, which is likely to last for up to 10 years.
“Currently, menstrual cups are the best option in all aspects. There should be enough education and awareness in schools and colleges regarding the use of this product. Strict hygiene is also a must while using such cups,” informs Dr. Pallavi.
#3 Reusable cloth pads
With regular cleaning and high attention to hygiene, reusable pads are more of an effort to become environmentally friendly than being convenient. Similar to the use of conventional pads, cloth pads are easy to use and are safe for your body. Commitment to sterilisation on a regular basis is a must is what doctors say.
Sharing her opinion, Dr Pallavi says, “Going back to our olden days, cloth pads are another environmentally friendly product to use. After the use, letting the pads dry in the sun is mandatory to avoid infections. Firstly, the taboo on menstruation and drying the cloth in open should be lifted. With changing times, I hope there will be more open discussions on this very natural process.”