One of the biggest dilemmas women face when it comes to reproductive health is whether they should use sanitary pads, tampons or menstrual cups during their period. While most of us conventionally started with pads, now more eco-friendly and comfortable alternatives have emerged to wear during menstruation, and tampons are one of them. So if you’ve always been confused about whether you should try trying, we’ll help you decide if they’re the best option for you.
A tampon is a cylindrical-shaped plug made from soft, absorbent material that is inserted in the vagina to absorb menstrual blood. It is a feminine hygiene product which once inserted inside, expands and soaks up the blood. Majority of tampons sold are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton.
Some women might be uncomfortable wearing them and find it difficult to have something inside them constantly, but some swear by them. I have been using tampons for the past four years and these are the benefits of tampons that I’ve noticed.
It may seem intimidatingly uncomfortable, but these tiny cylinders of absorbent material are actually pretty easy to insert. It will probably take a few tries at first, but with practice you can find the right angle to glide it in easily. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt at all. Plus, tampon boxes even come with instructions and pictures, and sometimes a plastic applicator for easy insertion. When you start using it for the first time, try in the middle of your period when your flow is the heaviest, so it’s easier to glide it in. Don’t forget to relax; tensing up your body makes it difficult to slide it in.
A lot of women also say that they’re more comfortable in tampons. There’s no sliding out of place and panty rashes. Tampons are a lot less messier and makes some women feel cleaner. Pads can smell foul and become unhygienic if worn for too long.
Unlike pads, tampons actually allow you to swim during your period. They are more comfortable than pads, so you can engage in other forms of physical activities as well. So splashing away on those beach holidays in the ocean is not going to be a problem.
A pad shows through your pants sometimes--white jeans can especially enhance those lines. However, that’s not the case with tampons. No lines show if that’s what you’re conscious of.
The thought of having a tampon inside you at all times probably scares you, but in reality you can’t even feel it. If a tampon is inserted the right way, then you won’t even know it’s there. Only if it hasn’t been inserted far enough into the vagina would you be able to feel it. In which case, you should take it out and insert a new one.
Pads are more likely to result in leaks and stains than tampons. Once you learn how often you need to change your tampon, depending on the intensity of your flow, you are guaranteed protection against leaks. If you’re wearing the right size, your tampon can handle any type of flow and prevent leakage.
You know how sometimes pads can feel wet, icky and even give out an unpleasant odour? Yup, it can feel gross, especially during heavy-flow days. But with tampons you don’t need to worry about all that. Since menstrual blood is absorbed from inside your body, it doesn’t hit the air, which means it doesn’t give out any odour or feel unpleasant. Just make sure to change it at least every 4-8 hours, and you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
You’re inserting a foreign object into your body and that’s got to be scary. Don’t worry and keep these pointers in mind when you’re using one and you’ll be fine. After all, hygiene is paramount.
1. Make sure to wash your hands before and after inserting it.
2. Change it every 4 to 8 hours (depending on your flow) to protect against TSS which is Toxic Shock Syndrome TSS is a potentially life-threatening illness that is thought to be caused by infection with a certain kind of bacteria. It is caused because of inserting tampons inside the body.
3. Make sure your fingernails are not too sharp or too long, else you may end up scratching yourself and breaking the skin while inserting it.
4. Only use a tampon once your period has begun and not during any other time.
5. You can wear a tampon while sleeping as well (since you can wear it up to 8 hours), but it’s advisable to alternate between pads and tampons – use pads at night and tampons during the day.
There are many ways to insert a tampon, and after trying some of them you’ll be able to understand which is the most comfortable for you.
Choose a slender size when you start using it for the first time, and don’t forget to change it every 4 to 8 hours. Once you start using tampons regularly, you will figure out just how often you need to change it and what size is best suited for you and your flow. If you feel that it gets saturated in a few hours, try a higher-absorbency kind, and if it isn’t saturated even after 8 hours, try a lower absorbency one.
Comparing tampons and pads is eventually a personal choice. Something that you may be comfortable with could make another person feel very uneasy. But we’re here to help you decide what suits you best.
Menstruation is perfectly normal and nothing to feel embarrassed about it. However, due to internalised patriarchy, many women feel ill at ease about it. If you’re scared about your pads showing through your pants, then tampons are great because they don’t show at all. They are also easy to carry because they’re small and fit into your pocket.
If you’re the kind of person who inserts a tampon and forgets it inside then a pad would be a better solution for you against leaks. Because once the tampon reaches its brimming point, it leaks, whereas with a pad you can see when you need to change it.
Again, it’s based on choice. If you are not okay with putting an object inside you, then pads are the only things you can use.
You may feel very uneasy to sit while constantly feeling like you’re bleeding--that’s when tampons help greatly.
One of the biggest advantages with pads is that they can be more eco-friendly than tampons if you pick the right ones. Some of the options include cotton pads, pad made from 100% biodegradable material. They’re a less strain on the environment and don’t add to the non-biodegradable waste on the planet.
Now that you know enough about tampons, you should also understand the possible side effects of tampons and the cons of using them.
Made of harsh chemicals: Tampons are made with harsh chemicals which could be a risk for the health of women. They contain chlorine, pesticides and chemicals that are harmful to the skin.
Leads to irritation: Because a tampon is completely inserted into the vagina, they could lead to vaginal irritation. That’s why changing it often becomes essential.
Increases the risk of serious infections: Chlorine in tampons leads to the increased risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, endometriosis and so many more things.
Causes Toxic Shock Syndrome: Toxic Shock Syndrome TSS is a potentially life-threatening illness that is thought to be caused by infection with a certain kind of bacteria. It is caused because of inserting tampons inside the body. Studies show that the bacteria could be already present in your vaginal area and the blood-soaked tampon could aggravate it. The symptoms include fever, vomiting, muscular aches, confusion, drop in blood pressure, kidney failure.
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