Did you know?
The modern applicator tampon with a removable cord was patented by Dr. Earle Haas of Denver, Colorado in 1931. His product took off and he registered it under the name of Tampax. When a group of investors became interested in this female sanitary product, the Tampax Sales Corporation came into being.
When you think about tampons, you might imagine it to be a recent invention, when a bunch of product engineers brainstormed in a meeting and came up with an idea that changed women's lives to a small extent. However, that's not true. In fact, tampons are as old as any other sanitary device that women from the dawn of time have been using. The Egyptians used softened papyrus to make their tampons that was disposed off easily, while the Greeks fashioned tampons from lint. Wool, paper, grass, etc. are some of the other materials which were utilized by the ladies in the ancient times. The point is, tampons have come a long way. The modern tampons are made of cotton, rayon, and a combination of these materials.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Tampon
As you might know, unlike a sanitary pad, a tampon is inserted inside vaginal canal with the removal cord hanging out. Since it actually goes inside the body, it can provide you freedom during periods or become a cause of concern, depending upon how you use it.
Gives you freedom
You must have seen a smiley girl in the commercials, who is either prancing around or jumping with joy, for feeling free in 'those' days. Even though it might not be the same for every woman, a majority do feel light and comfortable when they use a tampon, as compared to a sanitary pad. They don't have to fret about it "falling" off. A tampon allows you to keep your life active. You can go for swimming, rock climbing, or any other strenuous physical activity.
Makes you feel cleaner
Women who experience heavy flow may need to wear a bulky pad just to save themselves from the hassles of changing the sanitary napkin frequently. However, those women who hate the bulky feeling, prefer tampons as these eliminate the smell and mess that are usually involved in using pads.
As tampons are more compact and securely placed, they don't leave much room for a mess. As a tampon is specially made to keep up the protection against stains and leaks for eight hours, it makes your life a lot easier. However, tampons should be changed after every 4-8 hrs.
No risk of it showing through your pants
As it goes inside your body, you don't have to put up with the embarrassing lines that show while wearing a pad. Needless to say, tampons are quite discreet. You have all the options in the world to wear anything you want including tight-fitting clothes, as there is less chance of leakage and no visible pad lines.
The worst thing about sanitary pads is that they tend to smell after a while. This happens due to the contact of menstrual blood with air. However, there is no way this would occur with a tampon as it remains securely inside your vaginal walls.
Carries risk of an infection
Women who use tampons face a higher risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which occurs when toxins released by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria enter the bloodstream. The symptoms of this condition are: fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, giddiness, dehydration, muscle pain, etc. In very rare cases, this condition can prove fatal too if the diagnosis is not done at the right time. However, it is to be noted that tampon use does not cause TSS.
The right absorbency tampon should be used
Usage of highly absorbent tampons increase the vaginal dryness and can even lead to vaginal ulcers. Therefore, tampons should be used very carefully and it is suggested that women use the tampon that has the lowest absorbency level according to their needs. This way, they might reduce the risk of TSS. Tampons can also change vaginal microflora, due to the collection of menstrual blood inside the vagina, which can pose a risk of an infection.
May shed fibers
It is true that most tampons have fiber loss. Back in the 90s when this issue surfaced, most tampon manufacturers denied this allegation. However, they did try to overcome this problem in their subsequent products by adding an overwrap material, specifically polypropylene to make tampons safe for use. However, this problem still persists in certain brands.
The overwrap material of a tampon, polypropylene, is non-biodegradable. Moreover, it is believed that harmful chemicals, like pesticides and chlorine, are used to bleach the cotton in the tampons. Dioxins are also present in the tampon in small quantity. Although the dioxin in it is not enough to pose a health problem, some people might still experience inflammation because of the chemical.
No way to know when to change
You might not know when you need to change the tampon as it is not visible to you during usage. If you have not realized the tampon that you are using is over soaked, you might have to deal with staining.
Comfort and health should be your first priority while making up your mind about tampons. Whether you choose a tampon over other sanitary products or vice versa, it is totally a personal decision.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.