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#SwitchStories: EndoWarriors talk switching to organic period care!

This Endometriosis Awareness Month, we’re not just helping to raise awareness of this life-changing condition. We also caught up with 2 EndoWarriors to talk all about switching to organic period care.

Endometriosis affects 1.5 million women in the UK. With Endometriosis being a chronic, autoimmune condition, managing Endo is more than just medical and surgical treatment. It can mean continual self-management and advice from health professionals to prevent severe inflammation and discomfort.

Experts recommend a holistic approach to managing Endometriosis. That could involve following a nutritional plan, and consulting with experts such as a physical therapist to limit pelvic pain.

Consider what you’re using on your period

These days we are fortunate to have a range of period care options. Why is this important to an Endo warrior? This is crucial because, alongside the possibility of having to manage a very heavy bleed, those living with Endometriosis can suffer discomfort using mainstream tampons or pads.

There is little evidence in this area but research studies have suspected links between dioxin exposure and Endometriosis. Dioxins are also linked to mainstream or synthetic period care products, generated as a by-product through the process of chlorine bleaching wood pulp.

Dioxins accumulate in the body over time and although they can be difficult to avoid, if they are inside the tampon you’re using then this will be absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Seeking out alternatives

To limit exposure to potentially disruptive chemicals and dioxins we’re often told by our customers who have Endometriosis that they sought out period care alternatives. We spoke to two TOTM customers (and Endo warriors) who made this switch to find out more:

Jaimee, 28 (Cardiff)

Why did you seek out organic cotton period care products?

“Initially it was because I was in constant discomfort throughout my period, but then speaking with more women suffering with Endometriosis I realised that this was extremely common. I started researching into it and found out that the period care products I had been using were full of chemicals!
I couldn’t believe it… Dioxins were even in tampons! As I was already starting a new pathway in my life to cut dioxins out, the tamps had to be changed as well. There is research showing that Dioxins could be a cause/encouraging Endometriosis to grow…. if there is anything that I could do to help myself and the horrendous condition that I suffer with, it had to be done.”

Have you noticed any positive differences since switching to organic period care?

“Yes, definitely… huge improvements. Tampons haven’t been the most comfortable things to use in the past. In fact, excruciating in my experience, but the organic ones have really changed that for me. I can insert a tampon without wincing and find that I hardly notice it which is amazing! I’ve also been using panty liners towards the end of my cycle and honestly can say I forgot it was even there… that’s saying something hey ladies!”

Would you recommend organic cotton period care alternatives to other Endo warriors?

“100%. If you haven’t made the change already I would highly recommend it. That goes to all women out there, not just the Endowarriors. Why do we need to add chemicals to our systems when there are natural products out there? Make the switch and rescue your bits!”

Any tips on managing Endo flare-ups and discomfort?

“Heat is a saviour for me so hot bots and bags are a huge part of my life. But, we all know how dangerous hot water bottles can be, so I have started using CBD bath bombs and CBD body butter to try to help myself daily. I buy my products from Lazy Sunday Bath bombs… a fellow EndoSister. There isn’t always time for a 30-minute bath, so the body butter works well for me in between.

I also use 3 different types of alternative therapies…Acupuncture, Havening and Reiki… all of which I truly recommend.

The last tip is learning to listen to your body. Rest when it’s screaming at you and try to listen to it. This is so vital. Our Western lives tell us to keep going, but rest and meditation should be a gift we give to ourselves every day. I’m very new to Yoga but I have high hopes that it will help me slow down when my body needs me to.”

Abbie, 25 (Surrey)

Why did you seek out organic cotton period care products?

“About 6 months ago I had a massive lifestyle overhaul. I really started to focus on the things I was putting in/on my body (food, drink, soap etc.) and the environmental impact I was having. I had never really given much thought to sanitary products, it was just something that either myself or my husband used to buy in the monthly shop. He mentioned it one-day last year, so I didn’t buy any that day and set about looking around online.

Now, I’m a vet student so I’m used to reading long research papers. But, for days on end, I sat in front of the computer. I was both shocked and horrified to learn about all the nasties you find in your everyday products and how they are linked to Endometriosis! So, I set about finding an alternative. I came across TOTM in a blog post and then watched a few reviews online, so I created an account and ordered my first lot of tampons and pads! I was super stoked to find that with every purchase I was also donating the Endometriosis UK charity.”

Have you noticed any positive differences since switching to organic period care?

“I wasn’t expecting to notice much difference, but I was happy knowing the tampons and pads had no nasties in them. Honestly, I was completely ‘shook’ at the end of my period. It didn’t last as long; my skin wasn’t sore or irritated and the lower abdominal cramps I usually get were massively reduced. I thought this was maybe me having a good month, so I was pleasantly surprised by the end of the next period too!

I’m not going to sugar coat it and say my Endo pains are gone, I was still in bed for a day not being able to move but it did make it that much more bearable.”

Any tips on managing Endo flare-ups and discomfort?

“My main tips for all the girls out there like me who are fellow Endo- warriors, is to never underestimate a good old duvet day. A hot water bottle, some chocolate and a good old cuppa will fix most things.  I’ve created a little space in the corner of my bedroom with some crystals, a yoga blanket and an essential oil diffuser: I call it my Granola corner. It helps me relax when I have a flare up and I’ve found it really takes the edge off! “

Thanks to both Jaimee and Abbie for sending their #SwitchStories! For more switch stories, catch up on Nina’s story talking about why she switched and why she now always chooses organic! Ready to make the switch and give menstrual alternatives a go? Shop now.

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