#Health & Fitness

Everything You Need to Know (But Were Too Embarrassed to Ask) About Organic Tampons

by Caroline Harris

Everything You Need to Know (But Were Too Embarrassed to Ask) About Organic Tampons
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You may have already made the switch to organic food and skincare, but what about organic tampons? Because vaginas are so absorbent, it makes sense to carefully consider how your tampons are made. Any chemicals in your tampons can wind up in your bloodstream, after all. 


According to CNN, the average American woman uses between 11,000 and 16,000 tampons in her lifetime. That’s a staggering amount, so it’s no wonder many women are concerned about the risks of “toxic tampons.”


Luckily, many of these risks are overblown and overstated. If you’ve been using conventional tampons up until this point, don’t panic. And because periods can already be painful enough, we combed through the research on organic versus regular tampons to help you decide what’s best for you.


Conventional versus organic tampons


Conventional tampons are made of cotton, rayon or a cotton-rayon blend. The bright white color of tampons is not natural; it’s produced through an FDA-approved bleaching process that’s free of chlorine. (How much you trust the FDA is up to your discretion since the materials in menstrual products don’t need to be listed out for customers.)


Most people’s concern with regular tampons comes from the number of chemicals added during the manufacturing process. Conventional tampons include glyphosate, a powerful herbicide that’s used to kill weeds and a “probable” carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization. In addition, conventional tampons include very low levels of another toxic chemical called dioxin, also deemed safe by the FDA.


We’re exposed to chemicals and pesticides every day in our food, water, clothing and cleaning supplies, just to name a few. While it’s impossible to avoid chemical exposure altogether, some see switching to organic tampons as a step in the right direction to minimize the cumulative, long-term effects of chemical exposure (or you could opt for menstrual cups).


The benefits of organic tampons


By using menstrual products that are 100 percent organic cotton, you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. You get the peace of mind that comes with increased transparency and disclosed ingredient lists. Using organic tampons is also better for the environment because they’re compostable and biodegradable, unlike their synthetic counterparts.


Even celebrities are getting in on the action. Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP carries SHE Organic Cotton Tampons, and Serena Williams and Lena Dunham both invested in the organic tampon brand Lola.



One thing to remember if you do make the switch is that organic tampons don’t eliminate the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which occurs in about one 1 in 100,000 menstruating women. It’s a rare but life-threatening infection that can result from leaving a tampon in for too long. Protect yourself by changing your tampon every four to six hours. Use the lowest level of absorbency that works for your flow. It’s also wise to steer clear of scented menstrual products, which can lead to irritation and infection. 


Sometimes when you’re on your period, all you want to do is wrap yourself in a fuzzy blanket and eat lots of chocolate. On those days, picking up tampons at your local drugstore sounds like way too much work. Stock up on the best organic tampons now from brands like L. and o.b. to prepare for your next period. While you’re at it, you may want to add some chocolate to your cart.


1 of 8 Image Credits: Walmart

L. Organic Cotton Mixed Tampons


L. Organic Tampons is on a mission to create well-designed, organic period products. These tampons feature compact BPA-free plastic applicators and have no pesticides, chlorine, fragrances or dyes. L. Organic donates a portion of proceeds to charity for every tampon purchased, which makes it easier to justify the steeper price tag.

2 of 8 Image Credits: Amazon

Seventh Generation Tampons With Comfort Applicator


Seventh Generation creates organic period products with a purpose. The eco-friendly company is passionate about more equitable period care, and when you buy from Seventh Generation, some of the proceeds go toward helping low-income women receive menstrual products. These organic tampons feature a plant-based applicator and come in a fully recyclable cardboard box.

3 of 8 Image Credits: Amazon

Tampax Pure 100% Organic Cotton Core Tampons


Stock up for your next few periods with 48 TAMPAX Pure Tampons. The tampons are 100 percent leak-free, and you can choose regular or super absorbency depending on your flow. For every pack purchased, TAMPAX donates tampons to charity.

4 of 8 Image Credits: Amazon

o.b. Organic Tampons With Plant-Based Applicator


o.b. tampons are another excellent organic option. They’re made from 100 percent organic cotton with no fragrances, chlorine or dyes and have a tru-comfort applicator for ease of use. The leak protection lasts for up to eight hours, so you can wear these tampons while you snooze. At only $5.97, o.b. tampons are less expensive than many non-organic options.

5 of 8 Image Credits: Amazon

Cora Organics Regular & Light Mix Pack Tampons


Cora wins the award for most aesthetically pleasing tampon box packaging. Beyond the sleek look, these tampons are made of pure cotton with a BPA-free applicator. The crinkle-free wrapper and discreet packaging also mean you don’t have to announce to the world that you’re on your period. Each purchase supports health education and pads for girls in need.

6 of 8 Image Credits: Amazon

Rael Organic Cotton Super Absorbency Cotton Unscented Tampons


These organic tampons expand to fit your body so you don’t have to worry about period leaks, and the ultra-slim applicator has finger grips for easier insertion. With a comfortable design and absorbent core, they’re a great option for active women. Amazon reviewers love how “smooth and comfortable” they are to use.

7 of 8 Image Credits: Lola

Lola Compact Plastic Applicator Tampons


Lola is one of the most popular organic tampon brands, and for good reason. The tampons are 100 percent organic cotton with a BPA-free plastic applicator and use no synthetic fibers, chemical additives, chlorine bleaches or dyes. You can also customize your Lola tampon box based on your preferred levels of absorbency. As an added plus, you get 15 percent off your first subscription order using the promo code FIRST15.

8 of 8 Image Credits: Amazon

Rael Certified Organic Cotton Menstrual Regular Pads


Some women prefer pads to tampons but still want to opt for an organic option. These pads are made of 100 percent organic, Texas-grown cotton. They’re super absorbent with breathable sheets that prevent odor while providing maximum period protection. There are four styles to choose from, including Petite, Regular, Large and Overnight. You can set up a monthly delivery of these pads for added convenience.