If you’re prone to irritation and itchiness down there, it might be time to invest in organic menstrual products. The ingredients in conventional pads can cause imbalances in vaginal flora and even lead to yeast infections.
Organic pads are made from either 100% cotton or cotton blends that are free from pesticides. They also often contain fewer dyes and perfumes that can cause reactions to sensitive skin. And the best ones, including Rael Organic Cotton Cover Pads in Regular Absorbency, are just as protective as synthetic pads.
While there is some debate over whether organic pads are safer for your health than conventional pads, gynecologists agree that for users prone to irritation and yeast infections, organic is better. In addition, these nontoxic pads are better for the environment because agrochemicals aren’t used in their production.
However, most organic pads are disposable and end up in a landfill. For the most eco-friendly choice, opt for organic reusable menstrual pads.
Organic pads come in a range of absorbency levels just like conventional ones.
For light flow days, between periods or if you’re experiencing spotting, an organic liner is your best bet to protect your underwear. These are shaped like pads but are very thin. They can also be used to absorb vaginal discharge or as backup protection for a tampon or menstrual cup.
All organic pads contain cotton that has not been treated by pesticides or herbicides. However, not all organic pads are made from 100% cotton. Many feature an organic cotton top sheet with an absorbent synthetic core made from rayon or plastic (superabsorbent polymers). For many users, the organic cover is sufficient to keep irritation at bay. For an SAP-free pad, you may need to pay more.
While all overnight pads feature extended lengths, some users find that they need longer protection during the day as well. Many brands offer extra-long organic pads and liners. Be aware that length doesn’t affect the absorbency but only increases the coverage in your underwear.
Added fragrance, whether synthetic or natural, can irritate the vulvar region and possibly hormone disruption. In addition, manufacturers aren’t required to list the chemicals in their fragrances and are only required to list “fragrance” in the ingredients. The majority of organic pads are unscented or fragrance-free.
Another label you’ll see on select organic pads is that they’re free from chlorine bleaching. Conventional pads are bleached bright white with chlorine. This process produces dioxins, which are linked to a host of health issues. You can also find pads that are free from dyes.
If you experience pads shifting in your underwear, consider looking for an organic pad with wings. This extra material extends out from the center of the pad and secures around the middle of your underwear with adhesive backing. While this design offers a more secure placement, the wings are visible on the outside of your underwear.
No one likes the feeling of a bulky pad between their legs. Just like conventional pads, you can find organic ones in ultrathin thicknesses in both regular and super absorbencies. These feature super-absorbent cores without the added thickness associated with pads and still do their job to absorb your flow.
Organic pads range from $0.22-$0.60 a pad.
A. Organic pads may absorb surface wetness slower than synthetic ones. This is because conventional pads feature a perforated surface and absorb moisture faster. Some users experience more wetness with organic pads; however, organic cotton absorbs more than synthetic materials.
A. Although pads don’t carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome as tampons do, you still want to change your pad at two- to four-hour intervals to curb the growth of odor-causing bacteria and yeast that thrive in moist environments.
What you need to know: This top-selling and highly rated organic pad features an organic top sheet made from non-GMO cotton grown in Texas.
What you’ll love: These popular pads are also fragrance- and chlorine-free. They come in a wide variety of options, including petite and large sizes. These hypoallergenic pads are highly breathable.
What you should consider: The core is made from wood pulp and SAP, which is super absorbent but not biodegradable.
What you need to know: These herbal-infused pads are a low-cost alternative to organic pads and feature pesticide- and chlorine-free cotton.
What you’ll love: For users looking for a bit of scent without harsh chemicals, these pads are lightly fragranced with essential oils. The pads are also pH balanced and gynecologist-approved. Some users find that these herbal-infused pads alleviate pain.
What you should consider: While the mint essential oil gives a nice cooling sensation for many, for some it burns.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This top-selling organic pad isn’t as pricey as the top choice, but it works just as well.
What you’ll love: This overnight pad is thin and light but ultra-absorbent. It features wings and extra length. Some women use them postpartum. The pad is free from chlorine, fragrance and artificial dye.
What you should consider: Only its top sheet is 100% GOTS-certified organic. They may not provide enough protection if your period is super-heavy overnight.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Ana Sanchez writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.