True Cellular Formulas Team - February 14, 2024

Glyphosate in Menstrual Products

A Guide to Safer Alternatives


In recent years, the conversation around menstrual health and hygiene has expanded beyond the traditional scope, delving into the safety and composition of menstrual products themselves. Among the various concerns that have emerged, the presence of glyphosate in women's menstrual products has sparked considerable debate and worry. Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, has been found in a range of consumer products, including those intimately connected with women's health. This article aims to shed light on the implications of glyphosate in menstrual products and guide readers toward making informed choices about safer alternatives.

What is Glyphosate?

Glyphosate: The Ubiquitous Herbicide

Glyphosate is a chemical found in many herbicides, most notably in Roundup, a product widely used in agriculture to control weeds. It has become the most extensively used herbicide in the United States and globally, thanks to its effectiveness in killing a wide variety of plants. However, its prevalence in agriculture and urban settings has raised concerns about its potential impact on human health and the environment.

Health Concerns Linked to Glyphosate

The controversy surrounding glyphosate primarily stems from studies suggesting it may be carcinogenic and could have other very harmful health effects.[1,2] The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic in humans" based on limited evidence of cancer in humans (from real-world exposures that actually occurred) and sufficient evidence of cancer in experimental animals (from studies on laboratory animals). This classification has fueled debates about the safety of glyphosate-containing products and their regulation.

Glyphosate in Menstrual Products

Discovery of Glyphosate in Menstrual Hygiene Products

Research and investigative reports have revealed the presence of glyphosate in a variety of menstrual products, including tampons, sanitary pads, and other feminine hygiene products.[3] This finding is particularly concerning given the intimate nature of these products and their direct contact with mucous membranes, which could potentially facilitate the absorption of harmful substances into the body as well as disrupt the vaginal microbiome.

Potential Health Implications

The presence of glyphosate in menstrual products raises significant health concerns, especially regarding women's reproductive health. While the exact impact of glyphosate exposure through menstrual products is still being studied, the potential for long-term health effects cannot be overlooked, considering its known harm to other areas of the body, including the gut microbiome.[1,2]

The Impact on Women's Health

Understanding the Risks

The potential health risks of glyphosate exposure have become a major concern, particularly when it comes to reproductive health. Although the research is ongoing, studies suggest that glyphosate may interfere with hormone function, potentially leading to reproductive issues, including fertility problems and an increased risk of certain cancers.[1,2] Given that menstrual products are used regularly by the majority of the female population for a large portion of her life, the risk of chronic exposure—even in small amounts—warrants serious consideration and further investigation.

Exploring Non-Toxic Alternatives

A Shift to Safer Choices

In response to growing concerns about glyphosate and other harmful substances in menstrual products, many women are seeking non-toxic alternatives. Fortunately, there is a growing market of safer options that prioritize organic materials, transparency, and environmental sustainability. These products offer not only peace of mind but also the potential for improved health and environmental impact.

Popular Non-Toxic Menstrual Products

  • Organic Cotton Tampons and Pads: Made without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful chemicals, organic cotton products are a popular choice for those looking to avoid exposure to glyphosate and other toxins.
  • Menstrual Cups: Made from medical-grade silicone, latex, or thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), menstrual cups are a reusable alternative that can last for several years with proper care, reducing waste and exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Cloth Pads: Reusable cloth pads made from organic cotton or other natural fibers offer a sustainable and non-toxic alternative to disposable pads. They come in various sizes and absorbencies, catering to different needs and preferences.
  • Period Underwear: These are designed to be worn without additional menstrual products, using layers of absorbent material to protect against leaks. Many brands offer options made from organic and natural materials, free from harmful chemicals like PFAs.

Choosing non-toxic menstrual products is not just a personal health decision but also an environmental one. By opting for products made from sustainable, chemical-free materials, consumers can reduce their environmental footprint and support a market that values health, safety, and transparency.

How to Choose Safe Menstrual Products

Identifying Safer Options

When seeking out non-toxic menstrual products, it's crucial to know what to look for and what to avoid. Labels and certifications can be helpful, but understanding the nuances behind them is key. Here are some tips for making informed choices:

  • Look for Organic Certifications: Products certified organic are less likely to contain glyphosate and other harmful chemicals. Certifications to look for include GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) for cotton products.
  • Read Ingredient Lists: Choose products that list all ingredients transparently, avoiding those with fragrances, dyes, or chemical additives.
  • Research the Brand: Support companies that prioritize sustainability and health and are transparent about their manufacturing processes and material sourcing.


The discussion around glyphosate in menstrual products is more than a health issue; it's a matter of informed consumer choice and environmental responsibility. By understanding the potential risks associated with conventional menstrual products and exploring safer alternatives, individuals can make choices that benefit both their health and the planet. Ultimately, advocacy and informed choices can lead to a market that prioritizes the well-being of its consumers and the environment, fostering a healthier future for all.

  1. Costas-Ferreira, Carmen et al. “Toxic Effects of Glyphosate on the Nervous System: A Systematic Review.” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 23,9 4605. 21 Apr. 2022, doi:10.3390/ijms23094605
  2. Tarazona, Jose V et al. “Glyphosate toxicity and carcinogenicity: a review of the scientific basis of the European Union assessment and its differences with IARC.” Archives of toxicology vol. 91,8 (2017): 2723-2743. doi:10.1007/s00204-017-1962-5
  3. Upson, Kristen et al. “Menstrual Products as a Source of Environmental Chemical Exposure: A Review from the Epidemiologic Perspective.” Current environmental health reports vol. 9,1 (2022): 38-52. doi:10.1007/s40572-022-00331-1

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