Unpacking The Pros, Cons & Alternatives Of Tampons

Nov 30, 2020
01:33 P.M.
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We’re talking about the most popular choice of menstrual products for people who menstruate. Like most things, there are good and bad factors to tampons.

These little cotton cylindrical pads that fit inside your vagina are currently the most popular menstrual product. They come in different absorbencies to accommodate light to heavy periods.

Here are the pros and cons to tampons, and when are the most ideals moments where you want to reach for the popular little sanitary product.


Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

The size of a tampon must be one of the most noticeable pros. They are small enough to fit in a tiny pocket or comfortably in your hand, so they’re convenient to carry (not that menstruation is anything to be ashamed of).

Tampons also allow you to go for a swim in them. Additionally, when they are correctly inserted, you can hardly feel them which adds to the comfort of wearing one.

Part of the discomfort of wearing the second most popular menstrual product, pads, is the shifting that may lead to 'leakage freakage,' but tampons allow for the freedom of movement without worrying that it'll shit out of place.


Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Though it is rare, the biggest downside to wearing tampons is the risk o contracting a life-threatening bacterial infection, toxic shock syndrome (TTS).

It used to be primarily associated with using super-absorbent tampons. Manufacturers made changes to these products in the 1980s, and incidents have significantly decreased since.

You may further reduce your risk by using the lowest absorbency tampon as possible. Also, avoid wearing a tampon for long periods of time and change frequently. You may also want to alternate with pads during light flow days or at night.

Ideal Times To Opt For Tampons

Tampons may be ideal if you’re having a busy day and you are on the move and if you need an easy to carry option. Other times that you may opt for a tampon is if you are planning to be at the beach or a pool party.

If you're a first-time tampon user, it may be easier to try it out on a heavy flow day. This is just because it may be easier to insert comfortably.

What Not To Do

You want to make sure that you keep track of how long you've had your tampon in to make sure you don't have it in for too long. Also, just making sure that you change your tampon after going for a pee or a poo. Though from a medical point of view, there's no reason to remove your tampon after urination, who wants to have a wet string chilling in their undies?

You may also want to avoid scented tampons just in case you're sensitive to the fragrance. In the worst-case scenario, you might experience irritation or an urge to itch. It’s why Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in Westchester, New York and coauthor of The Complete A to Z for Your V. recommends unscented products—just in case.

Alternative Options

But also, you don't have to feel isolated by the two popular options because there are various alternatives that may offer even more benefits including being more sustainable than than pads or tampons.

For one menstrual cups are gaining popularity due to the fact that they're sustainable and once you get the hang of it, they're comfortable. And to add to the advantages, they're reusable so you dont' have to buy more each month.

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