Rallying for Unscented Period Products
Honestly, who came up with the idea that tampons should be scented? With everything else your period entails, it is hard to believe the focal point becomes its scent—but it does happen to be something that many people worry over.
During menstruation, it is natural for your scent to change a bit. It can be a little off-putting if it is something you aren't used to, and this change in smell may make you feel like you need to freshen up. But, is the best thing to reach for super scented products?
Scented tampons have been around since 1971, meaning they've been on the market for almost 50 years. They are marketed as tools to help "freshen up" your vagina during that time of the month.
Scented products are designed to mask the scent of your period, helping maintain the "feeling" of freshness. This can be dangerous, as some scented products pose potential health risks. And additionally, these products help further the stigma surrounding menstruation as a whole by pushing forth the narrative that clean is equivalent to "floral" and that menstruating individuals need to hide the evidence of their period.
Your vagina is naturally self-cleaning, so perfumed soaps and products can do a lot of damage to your pH balance. Adding a scented period product may upset the delicate equilibrium. The perfumes and dyes you find in scented tampons and pads can cause allergic reactions, yeast infections, or even bacterial infections. Doctors do not recommend scented products, as they may irritate and upset the natural bacterial balance.
Vaginas are so self-reliant that there isn't much we need to do to keep them clean and healthy. Keeping up with regular hygiene and making sure to change out of wet or sweaty clothes are great ways to keep it from getting irritated or infected. This also applies to highly perfumed or scented products like soaps, lotions, lubricants, and, of course, tampons and pads.
When it comes to your period, you'll want to go for the most natural product you can get. Things that are fragrance and dye-free can significantly lower your chances of irritation and infection. You don't have to go organic and all-natural, but it is recommended to keep your balance in check.
Whatever products you end up using, organic or otherwise, doctors recommend changing your tampon and pad frequently to maintain hygienic balance and ward off harmful bacterias. Essentially, you should trust your vagina to clean and freshen itself without any additives. The vagina knows what it's doing and wants to Go with the flow™.
Fragrant products certainly have their place. But, it is better to freshen up with some perfume dabbed on your wrists or some lotion if you're worried about your period scent being noticeable. Those options will do just as well to help mask any odors without upsetting your pH balance.