Tampons; Busting the Myths - V for Vadge
 

 
 

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Tampons; Busting the Myths

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Posted October 5, 2012 by Kimani in Sex Health

At a certain time in every young woman’s life, she will get her period. It’s a rite of passage, but it’s not anywhere near elegant or fun (like we wish it would be). The first time may be a bit confusing, frustraiting and sometimes messy – but equipping yourself with information can save you a lot of time (and embarrassment). There are many myths and rumors that come with using tampons, today we will try to de-bunk some of them.

First, let’s talk about what a tampon actually does:

The word “Tamp” is defined as:

  1. Pack (a blast hole) full of clay or sand to concentrate the force of the explosion.
  2. Ram or pack (a substance) down or into something firmly: “he tamped down the tobacco with his thumb”.
Honestly, the first definition applies best in this instance, as tampons are known to concentrate the pressure of blood flow and alleviate cramps that many of us experience. It fills the vagina with cotton that slowly absorbs menstruation over the course of a few hours.

Photo Credit

The Myths and Rumors:

1. Using a Tampon Means You’re Losing Your Virginity.

– This is definitely false. While inserting certain items into the vagina can cause the hymen to break, a tampon is very small and too thin to have any effect on the size or shape of a vagina.

Photo Credit

2. They Hurt! 

This is also false. In this day and age, tampons have evolved from the cardboard applicator which isn’t always comfortable for beginners. Choose a round-tip applicator for your first few tries. The plastic is “pearlized,” which gives it a smooth finish and makes it easier to insert and guide into the vagina. Choose the absorbency that best describes your period. If you have a light period, do not use super tampons. There will not be enough lubrication to remove the tampon without discomfort.

Be sure to insert the tampon all the way into the vagina until your fingers holding the applicator touch the tip of your labia. This ensures that there’s no tampon sticking out of the vagina, which can cause major discomfort.

 

3. They Can Get Lost in “There”

The key to avoiding this is always knowing where your tampon string is. Especially if you use no-applicator tampons (like OB), it is relatively easy to insert the string along with the tampon. Tug on the string to make sure it’s secure and keep sight of it while inserting it. A great tip is to gently place the string along the inside of your labia (Outer lips of the vagina). It ensures that the string remains visible at any given time.

– Keeping track of how often you change your tampons can also help avoid this problem. If you KNOW you put a tampon in at 12pm, but haven’t been to the bathroom since and can’t find it – you may need to retrieve it (string and all) from your vagina. This is not uncommon and takes a little time to fix.

 

4.  I Can Die From Moldy Tampons

This is somewhat true, but there are numerous ways to avoid it. Mold on tampons may be caused by a number of factors, including bleach used to create the perfectly white appearance. The best way to avoid this is to examine your tampon before using it; checking for anything that may seem out of the ordinary, or dark shadows coming through the slightly opaque applicator.

Kimi Suggests: Try applicator-free tampons. Brands like OB take an eco-friendly route with their tampons which require no waste (aside from the thin plastic wrapper). The tampons are entirely visible and work just as well as tampons with applicators. Natural health stores also sell dye-free cotton tampons with and without applicators.

Changing tampons every 3-4 hours will also eliminate the risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) – discussed Here.

Benefits of Tampons: 

With practice, using a tampon will only take a matter of seconds (including insertion and package disposal).

They are known to reduce the pain caused by cramps as they alleviate the pressure that creates discomfort. It is also said to reduce bloating.

Using applicator-free or cardboard applicator tampons reduce waste and the amount of pads/applicators in landfills, which helps the environment. Cardboard applicators biodegrade and are flushable.

Tampons can help you go through your day without worrying about leakage messing up your white pants, heavy flows bringing down your energy or being unable to go swimming on vacation.

Using tampons are a personal choice, but definitely something to look into. Browse your local pharmacy store and try a small pack to see what works for you.

Sources:

Toxic Shock Syndrome: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001676/

BeingGirl.com – http://www.beinggirl.com/article/tampon/

A Guide to Using Your First Tampon: http://www.youngwomenshealth.org/tampon.html

10 Tips on Using Tampons for the First Time: http://allwomenstalk.com/10-tips-on-using-tampons-for-the-first-time/

 




About the Author

Kimani

A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

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