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July 28, 2020
Keep your questions coming, Moxettes – we’re here to help you get through your period as easily as possible. Here’s the latest and greatest on what you’re asking most about when it comes to tampons...
A tampon is a little cylindrical device, sometimes known as a 'plug', that is inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual flow. Tampons are usually made of tightly fused rayon fibres or cotton, and can come with our without an applicator. They come individually wrapped in plastic or paper and have a string at one end that sits outside the body and is used to help with removal.
We just want to preface this by saying that there is really no one-size-fits-all when it comes to period care. Every body is different, every one has different preferences and rightly so, every one can choose to period how they please!
Tampons are just one of many options for menstrual management, but they're a popular one because they are relatively inexpensive to buy, they're good at doing what they say they will (i.e. absorbing menstrual flow) and probably our fave party trick: all the action happens inside the body - so you can run, jump, split, swim, twist, dance, yoga or whatever else you like to do - pretty freely. And, aside from maybe some accompanying PMS and remembering to change your tamp at least every 8 hours, you'll probably forget you've even got your period.
Put simply, no. If inserted correctly, you really shouldn't feel a tampon inside of you. You may experience a bit of discomfort when inserting and removing it due to dryness and friction at the entrance of the vagina, but try relaxing your pelvic floors muscles, taking some deep breaths and using a bit of water to lubricate your vagina if you feel you need to.
If you do feel any discomfort once it's in, try pushing it up further (or lower it slightly, via a gentle pull on the string - it might be in too high), or rotate it with your index finger until it feels like it's in a comfortable place.
Remember to only use tamps when you have your period (they're not to be used as contraceptives or for any other reason, contrary to popular belief in the late 1700s!).
Tampons come in varying sizes and the names can change depending on what country you're in - for the purpose of this guide, we'll use Australian variants, which are Mini, Regular and Super.
First timers tend to start off with Mini tampons, as they are the smallest in the range and arguably easier to insert. Those who have given birth may find that they have a heavier flow and a weaker pelvic floor, hence why Super tampons may be more suitable. Either way, it's really important to use the LOWEST POSSIBLE for your flow, but it might take a bit of trial and error to figure out which size is best for you.
You might also find that you need to use different sizes during your period, as your period might be heavier in the first day or so, and much lighter in the last couple of days of your bleed.
TLDR: Go with your flow - choose the tampon size/absorbency that correlates best to your period flow i.e. Light (Mini tampons), Medium (Regular) or Heavy (Super). Change your tamp as often as you need throughout your period, but don't leave it in for any longer than 8 hours at a time. And, be sure to change at least 4 times a day.
Here’s our easy step-by-step ‘how to’:
Each pack of Moxie tampons comes with an instruction leaflet - we recommend reading it prior to use and keeping it handy for future reference.
Easy! Once it's time to remove, gently pull on the string to slide the tampon out of your vagina at the same angle at which it was inserted. Wrap it in loo paper and dispose of it thoughtfully in a rubbish or sanitary bin (don't flush 'em!).
NOTE: Ensure that the entire tampon has been removed and if not, consult your Doctor.
See more on tampon insertion and removal (with pics!), HERE.
You can leave a tampon in for up to 8 hours at a time (never more), but depending on your flow, you might need to change it more frequently.
ever ever leave it in for longer. You might need to change it sooner if you have a heavier flow, or on the first couple of days of your period. You might feel a 'full' sensation when it's time to change your tampon, or, it might start to leak, which might mean that it has absorbed all it can.
At least every 8 hours, if not sooner if you have a heavier flow. Never leave a tampon in for longer than 8 hours at a time.
If you feel resistance or discomfort when pulling your tampon out, it might be because:
Technically you can, but we strongly recommend not to, as tampons should not be worn for longer than 8 hours at a time and often need to be changed more frequently. We highly recommend sleeping with an overnight pad, instead, so you can sleep soundly and not worry about having to wake up to change your tampon.
Absolutely! You might want to 'tuck' the string out of the way, but you pee through your urethra, which, if you have a vagina, is a separate (and much much smaller) opening. Tampons go inside the vagina instead.
You sure can! Though we'd recommend not using any toys or devices inside the vagina if you have a tampon in - best to remove your tampon first.
Sex means different things to different people but for the sake of this question, let's break it down a little... you can engage in foreplay or external play (touching, kissing, etc) with a tampon in, but if you're going to have any kind of penetrative sex, you should definitely take your tampon out first.
The short answer is, yes - although tampon use has been associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). TSS is an extremely rare but very serious disease that may cause death. You can read more about TSS, HERE. It's important to always read and keep the instructions and precautions that come with tampons prior to use in order to help minimise your risk, but please discontinue use and seek medical help immediately if you feel TSS symptoms such as a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, faintness, dizziness, weakness of confusion, develop a sunburn-like rash or headaches/muscular pains.
OTHER THINGS TO BE MINDFUL OF:
Nope - they can easily clog drains/pipes and end up in our waterways, and so they're best wrapped up in toilet paper and appropriately disposed of in a sanitary or rubbish bin.
Also a big no-no. Tampons should only be used inside the vagina to absorb menstrual flow on the days when you are bleeding. Discharge is a completely normal bodily function (and, a sign that your body is working as it should be! More on discharge from our The Moxie Periodic Table resident Gyno, Dr. Pav, HERE) but if you're concerned about it, you might want to wear a panty liner, instead.
The short answer is, no - there's nowhere for it to go! The cervix is at the top of your vagina and so a tampon can't travel into your abdomen or anything like that. It also can't voluntarily make its way into your cervix, either. Use the string to help locate the tampon but if you really are 'stuck', so to speak, you might need to see a Doc.
We’re just gonna tell it to ya straight, Moxettes – there's a lot of talk and 'marketing puffery' around this, but there is no solid evidence to suggest that organic or non-organic (or any type of tampon, for that matter), is ‘better for you’, health wise. There are no scientifically proven ‘health benefits’ associated with using a product made of a particular fibre. Both organic and non-organic tampons carry the same risks associated with their use (i.e. Toxic Shock Syndrome). It really comes down to personal preference. Tampons are very heavily regulated in countries like Australia, where all tampons on the market must comply with very strict standards in order to be sold.
Put simply, no. This isn’t a thing. Don't believe the hype!
We recommend using tampons within five years of purchase and keeping them away from moisture.
Anything we missed, or still want to know more? Shoot us a note at email@example.com and we'll do our best to help.
In the meantime, explore The Moxie Periodic Table for more of your period questions, answered.
April 05, 2020
April 12, 2021