Here, what you need to know about these green alternatives.

By By Mirel Zaman
Updated: April 05, 2019
Photo: Vladdeep/Getty Images

Clean and natural beauty products are taking over your vanity and bathroom cabinet, and there's no reason sexual health products should be left out of the eco update. The latest-like organic tampons and naturally-sourced lube-promise not only to detox your sexual healthcare but also to make the world a better place.

Products are gentler.

If you have sensitive skin, allergies, or eczema, or often experience irritation down below, pads and tampons made from organic cotton (grown without pesticides) might help. "It hasn't been proved, but some patients report fewer symptoms when using them," says Nina Brochmann, M.D., a co-author of The Wonder Down Under.

"The menstrual cup is an excellent alternative. It doesn't absorb excess moisture, so there's less risk of irritation." (Here's more on how to use a menstrual cup and why you should.) Try a few to find your perfect fit; even Tampax is making a menstrual cup now.

Alternative treatments can be legit.

As part of the natural movement, traditional remedies are getting attention.

Boric acid vaginal suppositories, for example, are antiseptic and may help women with stubborn chronic yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, says Dr. Brochmann.

Oral probiotics, especially those with Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, or L. fermentum strains, may increase the number of lactobacilli in the vagina, which in turn could help prevent urinary tract infections. (That's because your vaginal bacteria is super important to your health-just like your gut bacteria.)

But natural doesn't always mean safe, she says. Run any remedy and its delivery method by your ob-gyn.

Ingredient lists are simpler.

For years, doctors have said to avoid genital-cleaning products. (See: Stop Telling Me to Buy Things for My Vagina)

But Rael, Sustain Natural, and other companies now make pH-balanced wipes (meant for external use) from eco-friendly fabric, without the fragrances and harsh chemicals that can irritate sensitive tissue. The same is true of baby wipes, says Dr. Brochmann: "They're cheaper and usually hypoallergenic and fragrance-free too."

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