In the profit-oriented market (world) most of what we consume is not healthy. When it comes to sanitary products do you think the napkins are safe to use? Let’s talk about the taboo of India and profit-oriented market.
Menstruation is a natural and physiological process. It’s not a disease! It’s rather a sign that a woman is healthy!
Girls start to menstruate between the ages of 10-15 years, once every 21-34 days until menopause that occurs between the ages of late 40s and early 50s. Each period lasts from 2 to 7 days and it is believed that the Average duration of menstruation is about 2,100days (almost six years of life)
There are an umpteen number of taboos and myths out there in the society, pertaining to menstruation. Some people are even accustomed to believing that the menstrual blood is dirty, unclean or unhygienic.
Replacing the traditional way westernised people invented sanitary pads that can be affordable only by few people by the society. To make feminine hygienic the government insisted everyone to use sanitary napkins. The sales of the napkins are high, even though the tax on the pad hasn’t been reduced by the government. The demand was extremely high. It’s not easy to start a sanitary napkin company. Coming back to the usage of napkins.
Do you think the use of sanitary napkin like Stayfree, whisper, she makes your health cycle better? Do you think it is safe to use? Here is a glimpse of an article about the sanitary napkin’s side effects and provoking diseases.
“W.H.O report indicates that about 62 % of women gynaecological infections occur due to infections during menstruation because of the poor quality of most sanitary pads available on the market.”
Woman is bleeding wearing sanitary pad, no air enters the woman’s system and because of this, warmth develops between the pad and her private part, with the moisture from the blood this area becomes a breeding ground for germs, fermentation takes place hence the reason the pads are smelly when removed after use (Situational Environment). W.H.O report indicate two hours of a woman putting on these pads about 107 different germs develop per Cubic centimetre of the surface area of the pad. When pressure is applied on the pad through sitting, because paper is not absorptive enough, the pad allows a back flow of the blood into the woman’s reproductive system with all the germs which will have developed and the chemical mixed with the blood causing infection to the woman’s reproductive system. Not knowing what to do and what is happening, the woman simply takes this as a normal menstrual discomfort. The infection there after develops to something big that sometimes end up costing the woman’s life or go through painful process to try and correct the condition in the likes of operation, chemotherapy and radio therapy. Why that far, because some developed infections end up developing other serious conditions like fibroids, haemorrhoids, cancer of the cervix, cancer of the uterus, ovaries, tubes or blocked tubes and menstrual disorders.
Fibroids and menstrual disorders are suspected to occur because of an imbalance in the female hormones due to toxins absorbed in the body from the substandard pads and other sources. Some pads are made of a gel as to absorb the flow but if the gel is a chemical gel the same effects occur. In short, this type of a sanitary technology does not understand the hygiene of a woman during menstruation and is responsible with the mystery in the increase of gynaecological diseases in women which lack of this information has contributed to violent misunderstandings especially in relationships in the form of GBV.
- The producers of the substandard sanitary pads know that dioxin and chlorine are cancerous chemicals when they come in contact with the human skin but continue to use the chemicals in the production of the sanitary pads.
- The product is produced to a specific target group (Women). As alluded to earlier, without enough information, the woman becomes a captive market and has no choice but to use the product.
- The substandard pads evoke serious health conditions that injure women’s health and wellbeing.
Conditions evoked by Poor quality sanitary Pads during menstruation
- External Vaginal inflammations
- Itchy Skin on the private part
- Vaginal inflammation
- Cervical Inflammation and erosion
- Endometrial Inflammation
- Excessive white discharge
- Searing heart or pain in the lower abdomen
- Feeling nauseous
- Urge to urinate
- Urinal pain
- Sore waist
- Aching waist
- Genital warts
- Genital herpes
- Menstrual disorders (Heavy periods, Light periods, spotting in between periods, Prolonged periods, Menstrual pains (abdominal and back ache before or during messes).
To live a sustainable life, people have moved to use cloth pads which are reusable. Cloths pads will overcome the above issues when you are using it in a hygienic way. Below are the reasons why you need to use cloth pads.
“ 1. You will reduce your menstrual cramps, infections and skin rashes.
If you suffer intense pain during your period and are using disposables, consider using alternatives like cloth pads, 100% organic cotton products or menstrual cups. Disposable pads also use plastics, which block airflow to your vagina, and not surprisingly, can encourage a painful rash. Disposables also use synthetic fibers like rayon, which are super-absorbent, but will also absorb all the moisture in your vagina, increasing your chances of severe pain and infections — especially if you are wearing one for hours, all day, all week.
2.Reusable options are much healthier for you.
Disposables are typically made with a combination of plastics, cotton, synthetic fibers and wood pulp. Conventionally produced cotton is one of the most toxic crops grown, using 20 percent of the world’s pesticides and herbicides. These materials are then bleached with chlorine dioxide, creating polluting, harmful and bio-accumulative byproducts like dioxin, which not only end up in the environment, but also remain in our bodies for decades. Add other synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for side effects like allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive and gynaecological disorders like endometriosis.
3.You will save loads of money.
If the health reasons don’t sway you, maybe the numbers will be more convincing. Granted, reusables have a larger initial cost, but they last much, much longer. With proper care, cloth pads can last for years (my own cloth napkins are six years old and are still going strong). Compare this to the disposable that has a lifespan of a few hours before it’s thrown away, forcing you to buy more and more — all of them ending up in a landfill.
You can do the math: assuming a woman menstruates for 40 years, buys a ₹60 pack of disposables every other month, it eventually adds up to ₹1,15,200 over her lifetime. A half-dozen set of reusables for the same period, at an estimated cost will be half. Opt for a silicone menstrual cup, and you save even more.
4.You will help save the environment.
Switching to reusables is a striking example of how seemingly small personal choices can have a tremendous positive impact on our environment. It’s estimated that nearly 20 billion (billion!) pads and tampons are discarded each year in North America alone. The plastics in a pad will take hundreds of years to decompose. The process of manufacturing these disposables also pollutes our waterways, air and animal habitats. Switching to reusables can make a difference.
5.You will support independent companies and artisanal makers.
If you are already leery of handing your money over to big, faceless corporations that probably don’t have your best interests in mind, check out the companies that specialize in providing safe and healthier alternatives6. It’s sanitary, doesn’t leak and easier to clean than you think.
When talking about reusable options, one is inevitably faced with the questions: “is it clean?” and “will it leak?” Many cloth pads use a removable liner for extra absorption, and many have a waterproof lining sewn inside. It may be a tad bulkier, but occasional bulk is infinitely better than a lifetime of health problems. With the right maintenance, reusable products are just as sanitary. For cloth pads, most recommend soaking them overnight in water (you can add hydrogen peroxide or tea tree oil to sanitize further) and toss them in the wash for a hot water cycle. For menstrual cups, it’s even easier.
6.Heck, it’s pretty. And empowering.
Forget those boring, bleached white synthetic products — reusable options are bursting with color, patterns, and unique designs — personality. I don’t know what the background science may be, but surely bright colors can help alleviate any premenstrual syndrome-related moodiness.
We would also do well to remember that non-disposables are nothing new; women have been using sea sponges and rags forever. The “culture of concealment” surrounding menstruation has influenced women to feel ashamed about their bodies, and this imposed shame makes us docile, unquestioning consumers of products that are neither good for us, nor the environment. “
The above reason is a take from an article from livemint. Cloth pads awareness has been created by many socialist in the recent two years for the welfare of women. Even Countries like America are moving to the cloth pads but India is promoting sanitary napkins for their economic growth and adding tax to the sanitary napkins. We can easily move and adapt to the cloth pads by creating awareness to the people.
Recently, I have met Banu chitra (founder of thooimai cloth pads). She has been creating awareness on using cloth pads and conducting workshops on how to make the cloth pads. Even men have a responsibility to care for the women in their family.
Interview video of Banu chitra by Cupu Chinna Kaapi youtube channel.
Doctor’s explanation on sanitary napkins issues:
If you know Tamil language please watch the above videos.