Tampon Safety Tips for a Healthy TOTM
Posted byAlicia Trent
It’s a common scenario: Aunt Flo has paid a surprise visit while you’re out. Luckily, a deep dive into your giant purse has unearthed an ancient tampon. But before you unwrap that flattened, crumpled artifact, ask yourself: Is this tampon safe to use? Like most hygiene products, tampons don’t last forever, especially once they’re damaged. So before subjecting yourself to that who-knows-how-old tampon, keep these tampon safety tips in mind.
Know Your Tampon’s Lifespan
Unbeknownst to many, tampons do have an expiration date. The feminine hygiene products are good for five years, according to Women’s Health Magazine.1 But that shelf life declines if tampons are not stored properly or left in unsanitary conditions. A pocket, shoe, or the floor board of your car are not ideal residences for your sanitary products. Instead, check out companies that make tampon holders to carry safely in your car or purse. (A travel toothbrush holder is a great option to try.)
Respect the Wrapper
Tampons have wrappers for a reason. The coverings are meant to prevent dust, dirt and other debris from contaminating the tampon. If the wrapper tears, the cotton may absorb foreign bodies that don’t belong in your vagina, warns an article in Cosmopolitan. For instance, tampons rolling around a purse can rip and come into contact with food, perfume or ink that can cause bacteria to grow.1 If you come across a torn tampon, it’s a good idea to toss it.
Ditch Soggy Sanitary Products
An intact tampon wrapper is a beautiful thing. But if the cover gets wet, there’s a chance liquid may leak into the tampon and lead to contamination. Don’t attempt to resuscitate a soggy tampon, especially if it’s been wet for some time. And do not, under any circumstances, try to rescue a poor, hapless tampon that flipped from your hands into the toilet. Unopened or not, it’s not worth it!
Provide Proper Housing
Understandably, many women store tampons underneath the bathroom sink or near the shower for easy access. But keeping tampons in moist environments can actually make them deteriorate faster. Wrappers and tampons will remain fresher if stored in a cool, dry place.2 So move those tampons to a hallway closet or relocate them to a nightstand to encourage a longer life.
1Lawler, Moira. “6 Fun Facts About Tampons, in Case You Need Some Ice Breakers,” Women’s Health Magazine. March 9, 2016. http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/tampon-facts.
2Narins, Elizabeth. “16 Things You’re Doing Wrong With Your Tampons,” Cosmopolitan. April 30, 2015. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a39860/ways-youre-using-tampons-wrong/.
- Posted by Alicia Trent
- On May 26, 2017