When choosing period care there’s a common perception that fragranced or perfumed products make you ‘feel fresh.’ This is perhaps drilled into us by how these products are advertised. But, truth be told fragranced products can do more harm than good. In this blog, we are looking at why your vagina wants you to use fragrance-free period care.
For centuries there has been a stigma around periods, associating them as being ‘unclean’ and ‘unsanitary’ (side note: this is NOT accurate). Even in the modern world this stigma is still present and is reaffirmed in a number of ways. I believe scented products are also part of this stigma. This type of product prompts menstruators to believe they need to buy scented products to feel or smell ‘clean’ during their period. But, does your vagina want, or indeed need, fragranced tampons and pads?
Let’s talk about freshness…
The truth is, we don’t NEED fragrance to feel or smell fresh. First things first, the vagina is self-cleaning. Using scented or fragranced products can tip the delicate pH balance of the vagina. When the pH balance of the vagina is off, it increases the likelihood of developing infections and bacterial vaginosis. It can also cause other discomforts such as us itching. Fragrance-free and organic products can help you feel fresh because they are breathable, so allow airflow, and keep the skin free from irritation.
The problem with fragrance
When you stop and think about the fact that fragrance is a chemical, the idea of putting these products near such an intimate part of your body seems crazy. The vagina has “an extremely rich blood supply and is highly water permeable in a way our skin is not”. This means your vagina is even more absorbent than your skin! It’s been shown that your skin absorbs approx 60% of what you apply to it so you can see how important it is to know what’s going near your vagina.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals you can find in fragrance/perfumes. When these enter the body, they throw hormones off balance. The problem? Well, our hormones affect our menstrual cycle, along with PMS symptoms such as the dreaded cravings and cramps. So, when these chemicals enter the body and disrupt the functions of our hormones, it can make our periods a lot more challenging and uncomfortable.
Phthalates particularly disrupt the hormones oestrogen and testosterone. Ever feel like you lack energy on your period? Altered levels of testosterone can leave us feeling lethargic and low in energy. When phthalates enter the body, they block the production of oestrogen, which can affect natural processes such as uterine functions as well as mental well-being. You can read more on phthalates here.
The benefits of fragrance-free period products
Fragrance/perfume is renowned for being an irritant. When it comes into contact with your skin it can cause irritation, itching and soreness (particularly for sensitive skin sufferers like myself!) Not what we want on our period, right? Switching to organic, fragrance-free period products can, therefore, increase your comfort levels and decrease the irritation you experience. If you are unsure whether you usual tampons or pads contain fragrance unwrap then and take a look. Take note of the scent and any coloured dyes or material. These are artificial additives that do not belong anywhere near your vagina!
We hear lots of anecdotal evidence from our lovely customers who say they see a BIG difference after switching to organic, fragrance-free period care.
Switching to fragrance-free period products…
“I used to react to perfumed products, and always thought non-organic tampons felt uncomfortable.”
“No irritation, no discomfort. Just feels like I’m not wearing anything.”
“I was constantly itchy.”
“I feel more comfortable and suffer no irritation.”
“Sometimes I was irritated when using conventional pads.”
“I definitely notice a difference…I feel much fresher and have not had any irritation.”
“I’ve experienced progressively worse problems with using the usual products; sore/dryness, discomfort etc. I’ve been completely trapped into thinking it’s just something you have to deal with as a woman.”
“Less irritation and soreness. Fresher feeling and I’d go so far as to say I feel more in touch with what my body is doing.”
We hope this blog has been helpful! Do fragranced period products cause you irritation? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @totmorganic. Ready to make the switch? Discover our range here.