Is dealing with painful pad rashes a monthly affair for you? Switch to tampons. Do you spend your shark week adjusting pads that keep moving and causing leakages? Switch to tampons. Do you refrain from swimming or flaunting your fave bikini only because you’re menstruating? Switch to tampons. As you can tell, tampons are pretty much the answer to all your period woes. If you have always wanted to give them a try but are somewhat reluctant to take the plunge, we’re here for you. From ‘what is a tampon’ to ‘what it’s used for’, here are all the details about this disposable period aid that you need to know.
What Is A Tampon?
“What is a tampon?” This is probably the first question that comes to mind when you hear of the T-word. Well, according to the FDA, tampons are period aids that are designed to be inserted into the vagina to absorb period blood. They come in different sizes and absorbencies and are easy to use. Now, the fact that they’re worn internally, unlike pads stops many people from trying them. But trust us, once you overcome this fear and get a hang of using tampons correctly, there will be no looking back.
What Are Tampons Made Of?
Before we get to know what is a tampon used for, let’s understand what it’s made of. After all, this period aid is supposed to be worn internally. Now, the FDA regulates tampons as medical devices due to their constant contact with your sensitive genitalia. So all FDA-approved tampons are made of cotton, rayon, or a blend of both these materials. The absorbent fibres of tampons are cellulose-based and are derived from wood pulp and cotton fibres. They do not contain chlorine, dioxin or any other dangerous chemical that can mess with your gynaecological health. So you can go ahead and use one without worrying about it.
What Is A Tampon Used For?
Finally, it’s time to answer the big question—what is a tampon used for. Well, the simple answer is that tampons are used to manage your period flow by absorbing it and preventing leakages. The absorbent fibres of the tampon are compressed into a cylindrical shape so that the tampon can be inserted into the vagina easily. These fibres expand upon coming in contact with menstrual fluid. As a result, the tampon fits comfortably between the walls of the vaginal canal to absorb your period blood efficiently. The best part? They allow you to swim or flaunt a bikini while menstruating without a care in the world. Additionally, tampons keep dampness, irritation, and rashes in the intimate area at bay since they make no contact with the external genitalia. All in all, tampons help you sail through your periods easily.
Types Of Tampons
Now that you know what is a tampon and what it’s used for, it’s time for you to understand the different types of tampons so that you can make the right choice. Tampons are available in different sizes–small, medium, and large. Finding your true match is a hit-and-trial process. However, you can make your choice based on factors like cervix length, vaginal childbirth and physical activities. For instance, someone who has given birth vaginally or has a high-lying cervix should opt for a large-sized tampon. A medium or small-sized tampon works best for teenagers and those with a short cervix length. Additionally, tampons are also available with or without an applicator. Let’s understand these types in detail:
These are the conventional kind of tampons that are cylindrical in shape and come with a thread at the broader end. They’re inserted into the vagina with the help of your fingers. After use, they can be pulled out with the help of a string.
Applicator tampons are exactly like non-applicator tampons. However, they come with a plastic or cardboard applicator designed to help with insertion. They have a syringe-like mechanism that helps to push the tampon in without having to use your fingers.
How To Use A Tampon
Applicator or Non-Applicator tampons, using this period aid is no biggie. All you need to do is overcome the fear, take a deep breath, and follow this step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Wash Your Hands
Always start by washing your hands thoroughly so as to prevent germ transfer and the risk of vaginal infections.
Step 2: Sit Comfortably
It’s important to keep your vaginal muscles relaxed while inserting the tampon so that the process is pain and hassle-free. So sit in a comfortable position on your pot with your legs wide open. Alternatively, you can squat over the toilet seat as well or prop one foot on a step or any raised surface to allow your vaginal muscles to expand and create more room for the tampon.
Step 3: Insert The Tampon
How To Insert A Non-Applicator Tampon
Hold the tampon in between your thumb and the middle finger with a firm grip. Now, place your index finger on the end of the tampon where the cord extends. With the other hand, pen the folds of the labial skin and locate the opening of the vagina using the tip of the tampon. Gently slide the tampon in, angling it towards your back.
How To Insert An Applicator Tampon
If you’re using an applicator tampon, hold it diagonally like an injection and push the plunger to make a clicking sound to insert the tampon. Finally, pull out the applicator and you’re done.
Step 4: Walk & Check
Once the tampon is inserted, get up from the toilet seat and walk to check if it is comfortable.
Ideally, there should be no heaviness, sensation, or pain between your legs and you should be able to walk easily.
Step 5: Change At Regular Intervals
Just like your regular sanitary pad, a tampon needs to be changed every three-four hours as well. Leaving it inside for too long can cause leakages and make the tampon swell up too much, making it difficult to remove later. In fact, leaving a tampon in for more than 12 hours can lead to death due to toxic shock syndrome. Now, this condition is rare, but why take a risk, right?
Step 6: Remove The Tampon
Again, start by washing your hands and sitting in a relaxed position with your legs wide open. Locate the string of the tampon with one hand and push the labial skin aside with the other. Gently pull out the tampon using the string and it’ll come out. In case you feel like it’s stuck or if you are unable to locate the string, don’t panic. Insert two fingers into your vagina and try to locate the tampon. Grab it between your fingers and slowly pull it out. You can also try mimicking the straining movement during constipation. Remember not to go overboard with this. Just a little abdominal pressure and your tampon may fall out on its own.
Step 7: Discard It Properly
Never throw an uncovered used tampon into the bin or flush it off. Always wrap it in a newspaper or place it in a sanitary disposal bag before tossing it into the bin.
Sirona Recommends Best Tampons
Sirona Non-Applicator Tampons
Made with highly-absorbent fibre, they offer leakproof protection and are super-comfy to wear. They come with twist-turn openings for easy insertion and have curved grooves for reliable protection.
Sirona Applicator Tampons
These tampons come with a syringe-like applicator to help insert them easily. They’re comfy, odour-free, and come in three different sizes. You can choose one according to your period flow and rely on them for leakproof protection.
Sirona 100% Organic Cotton Tampons
These tampons are a godsend if you have sensitive skin. Made with 100% organic cotton, they’re super-gentle on the vagina and absorb period blood to prevent leakages. They’re FDA-approved and super-safe to use.
Now that you know all about what is a tampon and what it is used for, we’re sure you’ll feel more confident about taking the plunge and giving them a try. All the best, we say!
Featured Image: Pexels
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