I get a lot of questions in email. Many of them are either similar or things that I cannot answer. My good friend Vicky suggested that I make a FAQ. I thought that was a good idea so here it is!

stuff about me

Q Hey, is Tracy the all-knowledgeable source of everything pertaining to menstruation, menstrual products, women's health and the environment?

A Um, no. I'm not a doctor nor a certified expert in the field of women's health. I just have a passion for collecting information on the possible dangers of menstrual products and letting as many people as possible know about it.

Q Is Tracy a doctor?

A No. I'm not a doctor and I'm not a gynecologist. So, I can't give out any medical advice. If you have any medical questions take a look at some of the women's health sites that I have links to.

Q I heard a rumor that Tracy is a lesbian obsessed with Marshmallow Peeps. Is this true?

A Yes it is as a matter o' fact. You can visit my (outdated) Peep Site.

Q What does Tracy have to say to skeevy guys pretending to be 18 year old girls emailing her menstruation questions in order to get off or something?

A #1, You're so totally obvious #2 I email your questions around to my friends and we laugh at you #3 get a life.

common questions

Q Tampons are so much more comfortable than pads so why are you attacking the tampon industry for helping women be more comfortable on their time of the month?

A I myself am a tampon user. I'm not anti-tampon, I'm pro 100% organic all-cotton tampons. I "attack" the dominant tampon industry for caring more about the bottom line than making their products safer for women.

Q I find using tampons without applicators very uncomfortable. Do you know of any brands that would be safe to use that have an applicator?

A Natracare and Organic Essentials make tampons with applicators. You can find out more info. On the Alternative Products page.

Q I ran across the web site for INSTEAD* Feminine Protection Cups, it is located at www.instead.com/index.html. It bills itself as a completely new form of feminine protection, a soft disposable cup that you insert and wear just below the cervix. Is this safe? In your opinion would it be worth trying?

A Here is my honest opinion on the Instead menstrual cups. Personally I am cautious. The Instead people sent me a big package of press materials and 6 cups. After searching through all the stuff I could not find a list of ingredients. I know it's made from synthetic materials. They advocate wearing it up to 12 hours at a time and I'm weary of wearing anything synthetic for 12 hours internally. Also it produces a lot of waste. You use these big rubber caps once and then throw them away.

However, that being said, women have emailed me testifying their love for Instead cups. Also women have been using the cups for Artificial Insemination. So the bottom line is educate yourself then make a decision that seems reasonable to you.

Q hi, what about health hazards pertaining to pads? which is the safest tampons or pads?

A As far as I know menstrual pads & diapers are made of cotton/synthetic materials and go through a bleaching process. Some pads have chemical additives. I have never heard of anyone getting TSS from a pad, it seems to pose less of a risk because it doesn't sit inside your body for hours. I have had several emails from women believing that they have gotten irritations and even endometriosis from using bleached pads. I don't know exactly what effect using bleached pads made of synthetic materials has on our bodies. I would suggest that concerned women who choose to use pads buy ones made from 100% organic materials.

QI got an e-mail recently which claimed that some major tampon brands were putting asbestos in their tampons because it made women bleed more and therefore needed to use more tampons. Any truth to this?

AThis is a total hoax. You can find more information about it at the
Urban Legends Web site.

QI hate researching on the internet but I think from reading your web page, I feel comfortable asking you this...I think I have a tampon stuck inside of me and I don't know what to do. What would you suggest?

AI have to say...I always feel suspicious about these types of email. I get them all the time and I'm sure there is a percentage that are written by creepy guys who would just love for me to describe in detail how to remove a stuck tampon. However I will give the benefit of the doubt that there are some people out there who are truly concerned. For all of them I say CALL YOUR DOCTOR. Only a doctor will be able to help you out for sure. If you don't have one and want some anonymous help, call a Planned Parenthood in your area. They give great low-cost gyn care. You can also call the National Women's Health Information Center 1-800-994-WOMAN. Here's a site with more info: www.youngwomenshealth.org/tampon.html

QIt is very important to me that i keep my virginity. And i wanted to know that if i use tampons will i lose it?

ANo. Using a tampon has no effect on your virginity. The only way by society's standards to "loose your virginity" is to have vaginal intercourse with a man. Here's a site with more info: www.youngwomenshealth.org/tampon.html

QI love the SPOT Page, how can I thank Tracy?

AIf you like my site and you would like to do something to thank me, please make a donation to the Sara Weaver Leukemia Fund. Sara is one of my very best friends who died of post-Leukemia bone marrow transplant complications. I maintain a Web site for her band Swisher where I posted information about her diagnosis and treatment.

For more information about Sara please visit the site: www.goswisher.com/news.html

Here's my email address: tracy@critpath.org

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