There are plenty of options when it comes to dealing with your period — from menstrual cups to padded underwear and everything in between. Tampons may be one of the most convenient and mess-free of feminine hygiene products on the market, but they’re also slightly controversial. Aside from the rare, yet well-known risk they pose for causing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), tampons have also recently come under fire for their connection to cancer-causing and hormone-disrupting carcinogens, leaving women on the hunt for non-toxic tampon brands that won’t throw off the endocrine system or mess with the vagina’s ultra-delicate pH balance.

Tampons can throw off pH balance because they retain large amounts of fluid, which can lead to some pretty major disturbances down there. You see, when your vagina’s pH is thrown off, you’re more prone to developing infections, as well as vaginal odor, itching, and general discomfort. Think about it: the moisture remaining from your period’s flow creates the perfect breeding ground for fostering yeast and bacteria growth — even once the bleeding stops. Natural and organic tampons differ from conventional tampons because they’re often 100 percent cotton (as opposed to a cotton and nylon blend), unscented and are dyed with peroxide, whereas their non-organic counterparts are bleached with chlorine. Chlorine has been found to release dioxin — a carcinogen linked to causing cancer and disturbing hormones.

Your vagina is actually one of the most absorbent parts of the body, and unfortunately, this means toxins and chemicals from tampons and other insertable feminine hygiene products can easily seep into your bloodstream. While many gynecologists insist that normal tampons are safe (the FDA requires companies to closely monitor Dioxin levels), if you want to play it extra safe, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite organic tampons to keep on hand ahead of Aunt Flow’s next visit.

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