What is a tampon?
There are many different products which a woman can use during her period. From pads, menstrual panties, femme cups and sponges. Another popular product is of course the tampon. But what exactly is a tampon? With the majority made from a blend of rayon and cotton, it is an absorbent, bullet-shaped product which is inserted into the vagina to absorb blood and other vaginal secretions. Tampons are made to have different absorbency depending on what the need of the person is. In several countries it is even regulated as medical devices. On a lighter note, tampons have also been used to stop nose bleeds, as comically portrayed in She’s the man.
Normally you would be able to just look at the packaging and the actual size of a tampon to know its size, but what does the size mean? The size is determined by its absorbency, and this is determined by an absorbency rating as per the FDA, EDANA and other organisations which regulates the safety and use of products. This rating is determined by grams, where 6 and under is light absorbency, and 15 to 18 is ultra-absorbency, with all the other ratings in between. You will get light, regular, super, super plus, and ultra-absorbency.
Can I sleep with a tampon in?
Of course you can sleep with a tampon in, but is it the best idea? Ideally you should rather sleep with a pad on, as wearing a tampon for longer than 8 hours can cause toxic shock syndrome. This will require urgent medical attention, and can be fatal. But there is some debate over this. To quote Dr. Dardik, “There is no data determining how long they should stay in.” But this leads us to our next question.
How long can you keep a tampon in?
As with sleeping with a tampon, you should ideally not keep a tampon in for longer than 8 hours throughout the day either. Depending on your flow, you would probably have to change your tampon approximately every 4 hours. It has happened that women had a very light period and just completely forgot that they had a tampon in, thus going days without changing their tampon. Even though they did not get toxic shock syndrome, they certainly ended up with a smelly discharge and a nasty infection.
How to put in a tampon for the first time
For many girls who first get their period, this can be a very scary thing to do. Will it hurt? Will it tear my hymen? So many questions, and a very embarrassing conversation to have with anyone, including your mom. I speak here from personal experience. But your first time inserting a tampon comes with one cardinal rule you will follow for the rest of your tampon-wearing days. Wash your hands! Thereafter it is simply practice. Lift your one leg, relax, hold the tampon at the cord end, and insert it at a 45-degree angle. You will then push the tampon in with the full length of your finger. To help with the insertion, make sure there is sufficient lubrication, such as period blood or a bit of KY Jelly on the tip. It also helps to use a mirror for visual guidance until you get the hang of it.
How far should a tampon go in?
As mentioned above, your tampon should go in as far as your middle finger. Any deeper and it will start to hurt. If you stand up after insertion and you can feel the tampon, then it isn’t in deep enough. But don’t worry! Practice makes perfect in this case.
How to put a tampon in without an applicator
Always wash your hands! This is a rule of thumb that cannot be stressed enough. It really is easier if you can see what you are doing, so grab a loose mirror to put under your foot of the raised leg. Don’t feel rushed, especially if it is your first time putting a tampon in, or your first time putting it in without the aid of an applicator. Relax and breathe. If you are tensed up, then your pelvic muscles also tense up and makes putting in your tampon very difficult and even painful.
A tampon with an applicator makes it easier for first timers and for those who do not want to insert their fingers into their own bodies. The applicator simply functions as a syringe that deposits the tampon inside your vagina. The tip of the applicator goes into your vagina at a 45 degree angle, then you gently push the plunger all the way which will then place the tampon inside your vagina at the correct place. Slide the applicator out and discard it as you would discard any other menstrual product. That means no flushing it down the toilet!
Why does it hurt to put a tampon in?
This can be due to a lack of lubrication. Since a tampon is super absorbent, it can suck up all natural lubrication of the vagina, leaving it dry and almost impossible to put in. Even if you do get it in, it might still hurt. The other possibility for this is that your tampon is the wrong absorbency level, so perhaps go down to a smaller tampon.
Why does my tampon hurt when I take it out?
Tampons are designed to expand inside your vagina, so if you take out a dry tampon it will probably hurt. There are only two causes for this. Either you haven’t left it in for long enough, or you used a tampon with a higher absorbency than what you need.
Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome from a tampon
Toxic shock syndrome can make you extremely ill and even kill you. But how will you know that you are going into toxic shock? There are a couple of symptoms to look out for.
* Flu-like symptoms including headache, feeling cold, tired, aching body, sore throat, and a cough
* Widespread rash, almost like a sunburn
* Bright red lips, tongue and the whites of your eyes
* Dizziness or fainting
Anion pads can be a good alternative to Tampons. Lady Anion sanitary pads individually packages and can be perfectly fit into any purse. Anion pads comes with a health benefits to a women’s health and they made from organic material like cotton.