Warning: The wrong choice in feminine hygiene products may pose health risks
Have you noticed all of the different options when you go to the store to buy feminine hygiene products?
There are different brands and sizes of tampons and pads, but why are some of those options scented? Are these scented feminine products really safe to use?
If you decide to use any scented products while on your period, there could be risks to your health.
“The vagina is self-cleaning,” says Dr. Bridgette Blazek, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “It needs to be maintained at a certain pH so that normal vaginal bacteria can grow. These “good” bacteria then prevent organisms from growing that can cause vaginitis or irritation. Using chemicals (i.e. fragrances) can put women at risk for throwing off this pH balance and causing more problems.”
One of the reasons scented tampons and pads are on the market is due to the stigma women often face while on their periods. Some women believe they ‘aren’t clean’ while on their periods, but that’s just a myth.
“For many years, our society has made women think their period is ‘dirty’ or that they have to hide it,” says Dr. Blazek. “It is natural and normal and does not need to be scented. I always recommend that women, particularly those with sensitive skin, use products (pads, tampons, soaps, etc.) that are fragrance and dye free.”
So, next time you’re walking down an aisle and are considering what feminine hygiene products to buy, keep in mind that you don’t need scented products and there are risks that could come along with using them. These products can do more harm than good and aren’t necessary to be using when it’s your time of the month.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.