Tampons may allow us more freedom during menstruation, but they raise
serious health concerns.
The natural secretions of the vagina are constantly cleaning the vagina
and making the growth of bacteria less likely. The tampon, however, is
not a natural part of this cleansing process. Some time after a tampon
is inserted, bacteria will begin to grow on the tampon. Bacteria, like
all living things, eat, digest, and excrete waste products. The waste
products excreted by the bacteria may be absorbed by the vagina. Women
have become seriously ill and have even died from the absorption of the
waste products on a tampon. This “disease” is called toxic shock
syndrome. The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome are fever, vomiting,
sunburn-like rash, diarrhea, muscle aches, dizziness, and confusion.
Another concern with tampons is their effect on the body’s natural flow
of energy. According to many schools of natural healing, the body’s
energy naturally flows down during menstruation. Many women experience
that a tampon blocks the downward flow of energy and causes abdominal
discomfort and cramping, which they do not experience when they use
menstrual pads. Some women have even begun to call tampons, crampons!
If you decide to use tampons and want to reduce the risk, you can buy
the unbleached cotton variety. Bleached cotton or synthetic tampons
have been shown to contain dioxins, which are contaminants associated
with serious health problems. Always remove a tampon in two hours or
less, and do not sleep with them.
If you want to go swimming during your menstruation, a tampon allows
you to do so. And the cool water will probably slow the bleeding for a
while. However, according to many schools of traditional medicine,
swimming in cool water during menstruation cools the internal organs,
which can cause menstrual discomfort and cramping. If you decide to
swim during your days of bleeding, be sure to remove the tampon after
swimming. And take time for a warm bath or a warm heating pad over your
lower abdomen after swimming.
Whenever possible, consider using menstrual pads instead of tampons.
Get to know the downward flow of energy during your moon-time, and
enjoy your ancient and sacred time of retreat. Doing so will renew your
energy and creativity each cycle.