Paying attention to the safety of sanitary napkins

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Paying attention to the safety of sanitary napkins
Paying attention to the safety of sanitary napkins

Sanitary napkins have become an essential need for women. However, the use of disposable sanitary napkins has become a hot topic of discussion because it is suspected that they contain chemicals that are harmful to he alth. So, is this product still safe to use?

Every woman who has entered puberty will experience menstruation. It is at this time that sanitary napkins are needed to collect the blood that comes out of the vagina.

Paying close attention to the safety of sanitary napkins - Alodokter

However, the selection of sanitary napkins should not be done haphazardly. This is because improper use of sanitary napkins can cause irritation or even he alth problems in the female area.

What are the types of sanitary napkins?

Sanitary napkins are available in different brands, sizes, types, shapes, and functions. Based on its function, there are several types of sanitary napkins that are commonly used, namely:

  • Panty liner, to absorb mucus or vaginal fluids everyday
  • Regular, to be used during menstruation
  • Super or maxi, to be used when menstrual volume is high
  • Overnight, for use at night and usually longer to prevent leakage during sleep
  • Especially for postpartum mothers, to absorb postpartum blood after delivery and are usually thicker than regular sanitary napkins

Do sanitary napkins contain hazardous materials?

In Indonesia, sanitary napkins have become a hot topic. The Indonesian Consumers Foundation (YLKI) stated that a number of brands of sanitary napkins contain hazardous substances with levels above the threshold.

The material is a chlorine compound which is feared to be harmful to the he alth of the body and female organs. However, the Ministry of He alth states that the products in circulation have gone through a test process and are safe to use.

According to He alth Law Number 36 of 2009 sanitary napkins are categorized as low-risk medical devices. Low risk means that the impact on the user's he alth is minimal.

In granting a distribution permit, the Ministry of He alth also requires every sanitary napkin manufacturer to meet the requirements of a good sanitary napkin standard, which is to have a minimum absorption capacity of 10 times the initial weight and does not have a strong fluorescence.

Fluorescence is a test carried out to check the chlorine content in sanitary napkins based on the Indonesian National Standard (SNI).

Sanitary napkins are generally made of cellulose or synthetic fibers to absorb menstrual fluid that needs to go through a bleaching or bleaching process.

Referring to the standards of the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is also a standard for the Indonesian Ministry of He alth, bleaching is carried out using the following methods:

  • Elemental chlorine-free (ECF) bleaching, which is a bleaching method that does not use chlorine gas elements, but uses chlorine dioxide which is declared free of dioxins.
  • Totally chlorine-free (TCF) bleaching, which is a bleaching method that does not use chlorine compounds, but hydrogen peroxide.

All marketing-approved products must go through one of these two methods to ensure the absence of dioxin in the sanitary napkins. Dioxin itself is a substance that can dissolve in fat and survive in the body.

The use of chlorine gas in the bleaching process in the manufacture of sanitary napkins has the risk of producing dioxin compounds that are carcinogenic or can increase the risk of cancer.

How to minimize the risk of using sanitary napkins?

To minimize the risk of using disposable sanitary napkins, here are some things you can do:

  • Make sure the sanitary napkins you choose have a distribution permit from the Ministry of He alth listed on the packaging.
  • Look at the composition of the sanitary napkin on the packaging label.
  • Change pads regularly every 3-4 hours, even if the amount of menstrual blood is not too much. The more menstrual bleeding, the more often you will have to change pads. Changing sanitary napkins regularly can prevent odor and bacterial growth.
  • Choose unscented sanitary napkins to avoid the risk of irritation from chemical fragrances.

Are There Alternatives to Disposable Pads?

Although the use of single-use sanitary napkins is relatively safe, some people prefer other types of sanitary napkins as an alternative to avoid the risks that may arise. Here are some alternatives:

cloth napkin

Cloth pads can be washed and used repeatedly. Although made of cloth, the shape of this type of sanitary napkin is made like a disposable sanitary napkin to keep it comfortable. Modern cloth sanitary napkins are equipped with wings and buttons that can be glued to the panties so they don't slide around easily.

Cloth sanitary napkins can be an option for women who get irritated easily when using disposable sanitary napkins. With a note, as long as the fabric used is pure cotton.

Menstrual cup

Menstrual cups or menstrual cups are made of rubber or silicone that comply with medical standards. How to use it is quite easy, namely by inserting it into the vagina like a tampon.

The difference is, if a tampon serves to absorb, a menstrual cup works by collecting menstrual blood. When it is full, remove the menstrual cup and wash it thoroughly.

Menstrual cup can be used for 6-12 hours depending on the volume of menstrual blood and can be used for up to 10 years depending on the quality of the material used. When the menstrual cycle is complete, soak the menstrual cup in hot water to sterilize it, then store it in a clean place.

Through the explanation above, it can be ascertained that sanitary napkins that have received marketing authorization from the Ministry of He alth are safe to use because they have gone through a series of test standards. However, you can also switch to cloth sanitary napkins or menstrual cups which are considered he althier, more economical, and environmentally friendly.

If you experience complaints due to the use of sanitary napkins, such as rash, itching, and swelling, consult a doctor for proper treatment.

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