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MenstruationPeriods and PMS

What you need to know about your scented sanitary pads

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Did you know that the origin of modern perfume can be traced back to ancient Egypt nearly 5000 years ago? For thousands of years, we have derived fragrances for personal, religious and ceremonious uses but never as scented sanitary pads , from flowers and woods. Closer to home, in India, we have tales of the allure of “kasturi” or musk deer, spices and sandalwood. Our enchantment with scents continues to this day. Perfumes and scents are now a multi-billion dollar industry with feminine hygiene a part of it. But the focus has shifted from resins and leaves to ethanol and chemicals.  

How scents and prints came into the feminine care space
Exploring how perfumes and scents ended up on sanitary napkins
We love to smell good all the time!

From room fresheners to your favourite perfume, our olfactory senses are hard to please. We want to smell good all the time. We also want to mask anything unpleasant that cannot be hidden. The feminine hygiene care industry is not far behind. Big companies are constantly churning variations of existing products to stay relevant. Driven by competition, not just scents  but prints and colors have made their way into feminine hygiene products.

Ever wonder if we can do without the fragrances and prints on sanitary napkins? Yes we can. We can avoid any irritant that can come in contact with the skin, especially sensitive skin.

There are two main reasons behind this.

  1.     The smell does not get any better. It gets worse.
  2.     They can cause yeast infections with swelling, rashes, and irritation.
Why mask the odour
Image of a rose - keeping top surface of sanitary napkins scent free
Keeping odour at bay

Body fluids mixed with chemical scents result in a foul smell. This is why the top layer of a sanitary pad should be perfume-free. No doctor will ever suggest that you mask the symptoms of an ailment, right? They will dig deep to determine the root cause. Instead of masking the odour, why not follow the standard advice of changing pads every 6-8 hours. On heavy flow days, you would be compelled to do this. Why not do this on light flow days too? Instead of masking the smell, get rid of it.

Risk of infections when you used scented sanitary pads

Sanitary napkins are made of absorbent material. As a consequence, they block moisture and lock in the body temperature.  Over long durations this can result in growth of bacteria. Like any moist and warm environment, the likelihood of bacterial infections further increases with scents. If the top layer is scented and comes in direct contact with the skin, it can cause yeast infection with irritation, itching, redness and swelling. At NUA we aim to create pads that safeguard against rashes by keeping the top layer scent free.

Little is known about the harm caused by fragrances used in scented pads. We do not ingest deodorant sprays because they can be toxic on inhalation. Menstrual pads come directly in contact with blood vessels and soft tissue. Every ingredient in them, through extended use, has an effect on a person’s health and well-being.

How infections occur

An average healthy person’s body is perfectly capable of defending itself against most harmful bacteria. Periods are the body’s way of cleansing. Prints and scents disrupt the pH balance and disrupt the good bacteria increasing the probability of yeast infections. Avoiding scents on the top layer allows the system to maintain it’s own pH balance by natural processes and maintain its defenses as nature intended it to be. Our skin isn’t an impermeable waterproof plastic wrapper. It is a living breathing porous organ and should not come in contact with any irritant for such long durations. Printed pads have gained popularity among teens. The blue color is so common now that we hardly notice it as an extra addition to the pad. The colors added on the top surface are unnatural and are a risk we can avoid.

It’s up to us
information on risk of colors and scents on pads
Getting information to make the right choice

The taboo of menstruation persists along with very little awareness of fitness in general and women’s health in particular. If we continue to slip the conversation about menstruation under the carpet, we will never be able to voice our opinions about something we depend on so intimately for so long. To get a better product we have to make it known that our health and wellness matter.

Give nature a chance. Do not allow fads to dictate your choices. Take control of your health and make an informed choice.

Stay fresh, safe and natural with NUA. Nua delivers customized packs in beautiful coral and mint boxes at your doorstep.

Team Nua
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Team Nua is a group of women searching for the right answers to create content you can trust. Everything we do is thought around you :)
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