Published on: 13 October 2010
If you have thrush, or even if you don’t, irritation from tampons and pads may be causing you discomfort. Gynaecologists say that up to a third of women with symptoms of vaginal itching, soreness and/or discharge may be experiencing the symptoms of Vulval Dermatitis or Intimate Irritation.
Studies* carried out amongst 40 British gynaecologists with further research conducted amongst their Canadian colleagues revealed that nearly 4 out of 5 gynaecologists felt that their patients, suffering with intimate irritation, were experiencing sensitivity to synthetic fabrics, sanitary protection and toiletries. 50% of the gynaecologists then go on to recommend the use of natural, chemical-free sanitary protection to help alleviate the symptoms.
Mr David Nunns, Consultant Gynaecologist at Nottingham City Hospital, said “Irritancy is a very common issue amongst women in the UK, and is still frequently mistaken for thrush. This study has shown that expert gynaecologists across the globe have recognised that sanitary protection may be a causative agent in triggering vulval irritancy and so switching to natural, chemical free protection may help alleviate troublesome symptoms for many women.”
Most proprietary brands of sanitary pads, liners and tampons contain many synthetic materials that many women are unaware of. For instance, in sanitary pads you might expect to find cotton but what is used to manufacture them is often a combination of plastic based materials such as polythene, polypropylene and polyacrylate super absorbent gel, surfactants, and chlorine-bleached wood pulp as well as the occasional fragrance preserved with parabens.
Tampons are commonly made from chlorine bleached, highly absorbent rayon or a combination of conventionally grown cotton and rayon. Some brands also dye the withdrawal cord pink or blue, a process involving heavy metal dyes, creating an additional problem for women with metal allergies such as the increasing allergy to nickel. Further concerns about the chlorine bleaching process used produces an unwanted by-product called dioxin - a substance linked to cancer, endometriosis, low sperm counts and immune system suppression.
*studies sponsored by Natracare