Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Little-Known Facts about Using Tampons and Why You Must Give it a Try

An average woman according to research uses about 10,000 sanitary products during her lifetime, it makes sense that researchers and women are giving serious consideration to their menstrual management methods. It’s actually a good thing that nowadays, Filipinas have become more open when it comes to using the different methods in dealing with Aunt Flo’s (a euphemism referring to the menstrual cycle) monthly visit. Although admittedly, growing up, I had only been introduced to sanitary pads. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of tampons but rather there were so many misconceptions I had of them. And if it hadn’t been to a recent invitation by Platex Philippines, I wouldn’t have gotten to know the advantages of using tampons. The said event helped me to open my eyes and assured me that all my fears about using tampons were unfounded. 

I learned that it is more convenient to use tampons down there. But because most Filipina women had this misconception about tampons, there’s a lot of untrue and unnecessary fears that held us from trying to use them. During the said event, an OB-Gyne specialist gave a small lecture about how to properly deal with menstrual period, personal hygiene and the advantages of giving tampons a try.

Dr. Lydia Jamora, an OB-Gynecologist was the guest speaker who explained more about the importance of choosing the proper menstrual methods + the advantages of tampons.

Tampons, which have been around since the 1930s, are the most popular choice of feminine protection around the globe for women younger than 41, according to a prominent study. Women often choose tampons for greater physical freedom during their period. Like sanitary pads, tampons are also offered in various sizes and levels of absorbency. It is recommended that women change tampons at least every four to eight hours, using the least absorbent type to manage menstrual flow. 

Mom Blogger Joy Gurtiza observes a sample of Playtex Tampon

 Tampons, like sanitary pads, are another kind of menstrual device. Tampons are inserted completely inside the vaginal canal with the string hanging out of the body.
Using a tampon has its own advantages and disadvantages. Below we have discussed the pros and cons of using a tampon.

PROS / Advantages of using a tampon

Freedom: It is one of the most important aspects that a woman looks for during her periods.
  • Sports & swimming: Most women find it extremely difficult to participate in sports and can’t swim in the pool during their menstruation. Tampons give freedom to women allowing activities such as vigorous sport and even swimming. Women can continue swimming throughout the days of menstruation, when using a tampon. The tampon does not get wet inside the pool since it is deep set inside the vagina. It’s only the string that hangs out the body.
  • Clothing options: A woman is free to wear thongs and tight fitting pants during their periods. A tampon is just not detectable when inserted into the vaginal cavity. Unlike the pads, it cannot be seen from the outside of clothes. Therefore, one may use tampons when wearing tight fitted clothing, thongs, and bathing suits.
No menstrual odor:
Menstrual blood starts giving an unpleasant odor only when it comes into contact with outside air. When using a tampon, this doesn’t happen since it is located inside the body itself. Therefore, there is no menstrual odor in this case.

Tampons are a very good option when it comes to hygienic point of view. Unlike pads, where the menstrual blood gets in contact with the skin around the pubic area, tampons don’t lead to this situation. No blood comes in contact with the skin as long as the tampon is not fully soaked with the blood.

CONS / Disadvantages of using a tampon:
Inserting a tampon inside the vagina can be a little inconvenient to many women. It takes a lot of practice to properly insert it. They could be a little unnerving for women who are using them for the first time. The feeling of the tampon inside may feel strange unless one gets used to it. It is also inconvenient to keep the string out of the way when using the bathroom.
Risk of over soaked tampon: You cannot tell if you soaked your tampon the way you can by looking at the pad. This may invite a risk of staining you clothes.
Health concerns:
  • TSH: You must have heard the horror story: a woman leaves  her tampon in overnight and winds up in the hospital the next day. One may fall prey to a very rare condition associated with tampon usage called the Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSH). It's a case of potentially fatal infection. Responsibility and proper hygiene are key to preventing any kind of bacterial build up. Wash your hands before and after insertion. Make sure to change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours. Use the lowest absorbency possible for your flow—sanitary measures that are perfectly reasonable anyway. But the issue seems to have been because of the long term use of high-absorption tampons. The incidence is likely 1 to 3  per 100,000 tampon users per year.  That's pretty low. To avoid this, you need to change your tampon every 4- 8 hours a day. Exceeding the time limit, you may need to visit your doctor.
You should also not use tampon while retiring to bed and should switch over to pads at nights.
  • Pesticides: Tampons contain pesticides and chlorine used to bleach the cotton. Although, there are not sufficient amounts of dioxin to pose a health risk; still they can cause inflammation to some.

Common myths about tampons:

There are many myths about using a tampon. 

  • Tampons costs virginity: Virginity is the state of never having had sexual intercourse before. A tampon is an inanimate object.A woman only loses her virginity by having sexual intercourse, not by breaking their hymen. Tampons are soft and narrow. A girl can safely insert a tampon inside her vagina without rupturing her hymen. Therefore there is no risk of losing virginity while using a tampon.
  • Tampons can be used only by elder women: Age has nothing to do with tampons. A woman can start using tampon from the very young age, as soon she starts having her first period.
  • Tampons are very uncomfortable I have heard spine-tingling stories from women who have tried inserting a tampon manually. Thankfully, today’s market makes such experiences unnecessary. Many tampon brands nowadays, such as Playtex Gentle Glide 360 come with an applicator that enables a smooth and gentle entry into your vagina.
    Any discomfort during insertion is usually a sign that you’re doing something wrong. Maybe your angle of entry is slightly off. Maybe you’re too tensed up. Maybe you’re going into the wrong hole (But that's very unlikely). If a tampon is inserted properly and fully, with only the string visible on the outside, you won’t feel it at all. Once you get the hang of tampons, sanitary pads start to feel like what they essentially are – adult diapers. No matter how some napkin commercials boast of porous, breathable material, nothing beats the free movement and ventilation of wearing nothing but panties.
  • Tampons can get lost inside you: The vagina is a pretty snug canal, being 3-4 inches in length and about 1 inch in diameter in its relaxed state. And at the other end of it is the cervix – a very narrow opening that is too small to accommodate your tampon. It literally has nowhere to go. A tampon can never get lost inside your body because it has nowhere to go. The tampon rests just below the cervix which has a very tiny opening. A tampon is too big to pass through the cervix. The vaginal muscles are strong enough to hold the tampon on place until you pull the string to remove it.
  • Tampons aren’t as absorbent as napkins: Visually it may be hard to believe that a tiny, cylindrical plug can absorb as much as the spread of cotton that pads present to you. But you can get through your day by using tampons in using either two kinds of absorbency--Super or Regular--at the same rate you go through using napkins. 

Playtex Gentle Glide 360 tampons are available at leading supermarkets and groceries. For more information, like them on Facebook .

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are my own. This is not a sponsored post. 

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