5 Helpful Tips for Tampon Use
Posted byMartha Garcia
You’re not a rookie; you’ve been using tampons since you were a teen. Yet, somehow you panic that you may have “lost” your tampon in there. Is that even possible? What should you do? Using tampons can be a bit tricky at times, even for a pro. Check out these five helpful tips for tampon use.
1. Change Your Tampon Often
Remember to change your tampon often. Don’t go more than eight hours without swapping it out, but an ideal time frame is four to six hours, according to The Center for Young Women’s Health, a division of gynecology at Boston Children’s Hospital.1
Doctors warn leaving a tampon in for too long can put you at risk for toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is a dangerous infection caused by bacteria in your vagina during tampon use. Putting a tampon in your vagina and leaving it in for too long creates the perfect environment for Staphylococcus aureus to grow. The bacteria creates a toxin that causes fever, flu-like symptoms, vomiting, dizziness, rash and diarrhea.1
If you experience any of these symptoms while using a tampon, remove it right away and call your doctor or go to your nearest emergency room.
2. Set a Timer
So how can you remember to change your tampon when you should? Set a timer on your phone, crank an old-fashioned egg timer or try a tampon timer app. The app Tampon Timer even tracks how many changes you’ve had in a day, so you can make sure you are following healthy tampon guidelines. Who has time to remember all of this? Automate the process.
3. Wash Your Hands Before and After Insertion
It may be common sense to wash your hands after you remove a tampon, but what about before? Run your hands under soap and warm water before inserting a tampon to prevent introducing other bacteria into the environment. While washing, make sure to scrub underneath your fingernails.
4. Match the Absorbency to Your Flow
Always use an absorbency that matches your flow. So, light tampons for light days and supers for the really heavy days. Using a super flow tampon on a light day may increase your risk of TSS, indicates the Office on Women’s Health.3
You can also alternate tampon use with pads. You can wear pads at night, especially if you think you will sleep longer than eight hours.
5. Keep the String in Sight
Many women worry, “What if I lose the tampon inside of me?” It is impossible for a tampon to get lost in the vagina. The tampon will simply stay inside, even if you can’t reach it. Experts at the National Health Service remind us that the only other opening is the cervix at the top of the vagina and that opening is far too small for a tampon to fit through.4 So while you may not be able to find your tampon, trust us, it’s still in there. So what do you do?
Schedule an appointment with your doctor. He or she will be able to locate it and remove it. You aren’t the only one who has lost or forgotten about a tampon. Some women even had sex with it in and had trouble finding it afterward. If you can’t find your tampon, trust that you aren’t the only one who has been in this boat.
1Center for Young Women’s Health staff. Using Your First Tampon. Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine and the Division of Gynecology at Boston Children’s Hospital. http://youngwomenshealth.org/2012/09/27/tampons/
2iTunes staff. Tampon Timer (iPeriod companion). Apple Inc. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tampon-timer-iperiod-companion/id521825398?mt=8
3Office on Women’s Health staff. Menstruation and the Menstrual Cycle. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/menstruation-and-menstrual-cycle
4NHS Choices Staff. Can a Tampon Get Lost Inside Me? National Health Service in England. http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/983.aspx
- Posted by Martha Garcia
- On July 12, 2017