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Can sanitary pads give you cancer?

Can Sanitary Pads give You Cancer? A Doctor Decodes.

Sanitary napkins have changed women’s lives in terms of health and hygienic condition.

Menstruation is an indispensable part of a woman’s life. Therefore, maintaining healthy and hygienic conditions plays a crucial role. Sanitary pads are the one which is widely used, especially in India. However, new studies have said something just the opposite. The product which gives you a better lifestyle now has become the cause of cancer and infertility. In this blog, I will critically examine this hot topic: can sanitary pads cause cancer with expert eyes? Let’s dig deeper. 

A few studies that support the notion – 

A research report published in 2022, “Wrapped in Society: Toxic Chemicals in Menstrual Products,” released by NGO Toxics Link, has elaborated that they sold Phthalates and VOCs in an organic or inorganic way. 

That means Phthalates that ensure durability, absorption, and elasticity. In contrast, women are buying toxic substances in their homes. In addition, the adulterant present in the sanitary pad can cause cancer. It increases microplastic in the environment as well. From the above research paper, you have become perplexed about how sanitary napkins can cause cancer. Yes, this is the thing you need to dig deeper into it. 

Another study published by the National Library of Medicine revealed that Phthalates are a serious toxic agent. It causes endocrine disruption and decreases the rate of pregnancy, child growth, and development. In addition, it affects the physiology of cells which results in cancer. Even in the past few years, researchers linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type ll diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, reproductive health, fertility issues, and cancer. 

Yes, some bunch of diseases you are carrying. 

Also, Read Can you get a pap smear on your period?

Chemicals that your Napkins Carry –

There are some chemicals that you should know. This is because you are using it, and you may face its consequences in the future too. 

  1. Inorganic and organic VOCs 
  2. Acetone 
  3. Chloroform 
  4. Benzene 
  5. Toluene 
  6. Phthalates 

I have only explained the last chemical. However, the other chemicals are also volatile and cause detrimental effects, especially on the lives of females. The toxic substances of pads have reached their peak because of the artificial fragrances, artificial colors, polyesters, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene, and propylene glycol linked to hormone disruption, cancer, and birth defects. 

Sanitary pads can cause what type of cancer, and how is the trend of occurrence of disease going? 

If we see the data, there is an upsurge in women suffering from ovarian, cervical, endometrial, and vaginal cancer. However, there is no definite research on the root cause of all these cancers. I want to give you some figures to help you cultivate the trend of cancer in the future. 

Ovarian Cancer 

It is one of the most common cancers and ranked 7 worldwide. The incident rate will get higher in the coming years. The survival rate is 49.1%, meaning half of the women suffering from ovarian cancer die abruptly. The World Ovarian Cancer Coalition gives the data for the future trend of ovarian cancer among womenThis number will exponentially increase if we allow our habits to stay the same. Therefore, we must look at the important things and how we can overcome them with time. 

Also, Read Period Cramps vs Early Pregnancy Cramps.

Why do pads always give more value than other alternatives?

The pads are mostly absorbent and are designed to stick with underpants. They come in various sizes according to blood flow. There are some advantages to why most people stick to sanitary pads over other alternatives.

  • Women prefer pads because it works well during heavy periods. 
  • They are usually tremendous to use overnight. 

Undoubtedly, a few advantages but effective ones. The population has gotten used to this comfort. That’s why people are unwilling to accept that it brings terrific ill effects to their health. 

The checklist you need to check before buying the sanitary pad. 

  • The non-cytotoxic substance 
  • Check the composition of the product 
  • Safe and hygienic disposal 
  • Environmental friendly 
  • Check the sizes 
  • Budget-friendly 
  • No adulterants 
  • No artificial fragrances 
  • No Bleaching products – Dioxin 

Also, Read How to Stop Brown Discharge After Period?

A Different Perspective for Sanitary Pads – 

Although companies and awareness campaigns have worked tremendously to educate people about menstrual hygiene, we cannot neglect the disease caused by sanitary napkins. I reckon companies and scientists should make environmentally friendly toxic-free pads for women or any other alternatives which can ensure a healthy life for women. It is quite complex, but many companies are working on producing sanitary pads organically. They hardly use any chemical substances in their products; instead, natural materials are needed to prevent fatal disease conditions like cancer. 

Prevention Steps to avoid cancer using a sanitary pad – 

  • Change the sanitary pad from time to time. 
  • Keep the vagina clean 
  • Maintain the hygienic condition
  • Avoid public washrooms
  • Look for the signs of infection in the groin area
  • Wear only cotton underwear
  • Avoid using chemical products 
  • Dispose carefully of sanitary pad 
  • Warm water shower 
  • Avoid pad rashes 
  • Use Anti-fungal infection
  • Buy organic pads and be aware of artificial fragrances

FAQs – 

Can sanitary napkins be harmful? 

The chemicals in the pads can cause severe ill effects on women's lives.

What happens when I wear a sanitary pad for too long?

It can lead to infection and yeast formation that causes irritation and rash around the groin area.

Is it ok to wear a pad for 12 hours?

Undoubtedly, 12 hours is a long time when bacteria find time to grow. It does not matter how light your flow is; still, there are high chances for bacteria. Change the pad for at least 4 to 5 days to maintain hygienic conditions.

Also, Read How to get your Period in one hour?

Outlook – 

The above blog post has described how our pads carry carcinogenic substances, which can be fatal in the future. It has become necessary to prevent yourself from unnecessary complications by adopting other alternatives. We have heard many times that precaution is better than cure. This implies the same. The expense of cancer will boost according to the year’s progress. Similarly, the incidence of cancer will also reach a peak. 

Find the hope that removes the cause!!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Jaishree Gajaraj A