Guidelines & Important Facts About Tampon Use

Women are mostly inconvenienced by menstruation. Since ages, females have been dealing with monthly bleeding and unbearable pain. And over those countless years, they have devised some very clever ways of managing this issue. For example, Ancient Egyptians used papyrus in the vagina to deal with the problem, and Asians used soft leaves and moss to contain and conceal menstrual bleeding. The latest development in this direction is tampon. Tampons are so commonplace today that most women don’t really question their use. Is tampon making your life easy too? But how well do you know your tampon? Read on to understand tampons, better.

All About Tampon

The word “tampon” comes from the medieval French word “tampion,” meaning a piece of cloth for stopping a hole. A tampon is basically a mass of absorbent material, mainly used as a feminine hygiene product. It is designed to be easily inserted into the vagina during menstruation, and absorb the menstrual flow. Once rightly inserted, the tampon is held in place by the vagina, and expands as it absorbs menstrual blood. Many countries regulate tampons as medical devices. Sometimes, tampons are also used for hemostasis in surgery.

Few Guidelines & Important Facts About Tampon Use

A Tampon Should Be Changed Regularly To Prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome

Bacteria are normally present in the vagina. When a tampon, or any foreign object, is introduced into the vagina, the bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus can overgrow and produce toxins. These toxins can at times enter the blood stream and trigger toxic shock syndrome. The longer a tampon stays in the vagina, the higher is the risk for infection. Although toxic shock syndrome is a rare condition, one should still guard themselves against this disease by changing their tampon every few hours.

A Tampon Should Never Be Used When Not On Period

Although tempted to use a tampon when having a heavy discharge, trying to prevent an infection, or wanting to stay clean after having unprotected sex, one should avoid using it when not on periods. This is because people will often tend to forget that the tampon is there. Further, discharge usually occurs when there is an infection or irritation in the vagina, or a fluid needs to drain out. Hence it should not be blocked with a tampon. Using tampons when not bleeding can be more painful and putting the dry tampon in and taking it out can hurt too. So, doctors recommend using a tampon only when on period.

Tampon Safety Is Still An Unexplored Domain

Much research has still not been done on menstrual protection safety. More research needs to be conducted on feminine hygiene products and the outcomes of their long term use. More information needs to be promoted on safety of menstrual health products and disclosure of the chemicals in tampons.

Tampons Are Considered A “Luxury” Item In Most Countries

Pad, tampons, or other period protection are defined as a basic hygiene need by most women. While no sales tax is imposed on items, like groceries and prescriptions, which are also considered necessities, tampon is labelled as a “luxury item” and is thus subject to tax. While countries like Canada and Britain have lifted the tax on tampons, most other countries are yet to do so.

The Future Can Have “Intelligent Tampons”

Although it may sounds weird, but it is believed that in near future, the tampon market will use technology to produce products which would be able to analyze menstrual blood for infections, vaginal pH, problems with fertility, or endometriosis. Commercial investors and scientists are both interested in this development in tampons.

What are the Other Alternatives for Tampon?

Yes, sanitary pads are an option when menstruating; but due to the recent rising emphasis on environmental awareness and sustainable living, development of more alternatives like sea sponges, menstrual cups, and even flow-absorbing underwear has taken place. These latest period protectors are available in many styles, sizes, colours, and features to appeal to all kind of sensibilities. While women have more choices than ever, not much research has been done to prove the safety of these products for use in periods. Menstrual cups are found to be safe and effective, and its use is thus gaining momentum with younger women. Since sea sponges, or menstrual sponges are inserted into the vagina, its risk of causing toxic shock syndrome is higher. This risk can; however, be reduced by removing and washing the sponge every three hours. The flow-absorbing underwear is a brand new invention which is still untested.

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