Before I get into my article, I would like to explain that this article is meant for ladies who are thinking of using tampons but are hesitant because of the process and risks. Also, for my friends in Malaysia who are not really exposed to the use of tampons. I had been talking about this with my friends so many times that I decided to make a blog post out of it. I am in no particular sponsorship deal with any of the products mentioned, it is all based of personal experience and preferences.
WHY I PREFER TAMPONS OVER PADS?
1. They trap your blood/uterus linings before it leaves your body – This means you don’t feel your blood/uterus lining leaving your body. You don’t get that ‘waterfall moment’ where you experience that period-is-flowing-out-and-I-can’t-do-anything feeling. That is the main reason of my irritations during period, and my mood improved a lot after I started using tampons.
2. It is clean and hygienic. Let’s be real, not every girl shave or wax their pubic hair; even if they do, there will be times when the hair is in the midst of growing before the next shaving/waxing session. So if you use a pad, the period that comes out of your body will be trapped among your beautiful hair down there, and it gets really gross and nasty.
3. No worries of staining your pants or bed sheets. Yes, tampons overflow too, but even if they do, all you get is like stain from a wet string to your panties (or panty liners, which most people use while using tampons).
4. No worries of the obvious pad curve when wearing tight jeans or leggings.
5. No plastic-swishing sound when walking in the hallway. Trust me, we sometimes hear that sound of plastic swishing between our thighs when we’re moving in a really quiet area. Even though others might not hear it, we’re super self-conscious about it.
MYTHS BEHIND THE USE OF TAMPONS
1. The Asian Parents Problem – “You’ll no longer be a virgin if you use tampons!”
Many of you were hesitant to use tampons because your mum told you that, you’ll no longer be a virgin if you use one. Well, think about it, the size of a tampon is nothing equivalent to the size of an erected penis. Using a tampon would not make you go ‘loose’, and your hymen might tear for other reasons. The probability of a tampon breaking your hymen is really, really low. In fact, I googled up the average diameter of erect male organ and got a similar sized banana to make a comparison.
If you are planning to have or already have had sex, do you think a much smaller sized cotton-made tube would hurt you? Also, I admit that this is the weirdest thing that happened to my breakfast this morning. Oh wells, things that I do.
2. The Fear of Bloody Fingers –
There are tampons with plastic or cardboard applicators, which helps you insert the tampons without dirtying your fingers. I have to admit this, I did not know about these applicators until I came to Canada, and I found out over the summer that they do sell these in drug stores in Malaysia. The only brand that I found in Guardian Malaysia was Playtex Gentle Glide, I really hope they import other extensions though!
So, the one on the left is the actual tampon that will be in you, while the one on the right is an applicator that helps you insert the tampon. Only half of the plastic enters your vagina, and you take the plastic out after inserting the tampon. It’s that simple actually.
3. The Fear of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) –
According to U by Kotex, tampons do not cause TSS, but incorrect usage of tampons has been associated with an increased risk of TSS. The illness is so rare as most people develop resistance to the toxin. I am pretty sure that as long as you change your tampons regularly, and use the right ones that suits your flow, you will be safe.
HOW DO I START USING A TAMPON?
Start with one that comes with a plastic applicator. A plastic applicator is smooth and easy to be glided into your vagina, and you don’t have to worry if you’re uncomfortable of inserting your fingers into your vagina (especially when it’s bloody down there). Tampax Regular, U by Kotex Sleek Regular and Playtex Gentle Glide are all good brands to start with, since they have round tips on the top.
I know, you might be really nervous and worried, but you can do this. Like many of you, I searched up how to use a tampon on Google and YouTube, got all goosebumps imagining the process, even felt like crying for I-don’t-know-what-reason. But then I found this great video by ilikeweylie, which really explained the process in a relatable way and gave me the courage to give it try.
I remember taking quite a long time sitting in the bathroom on my first try. I was so nervous that I held my breath when I inserted the tampon, and I felt nauseous after that. It was so funny because I ended up lying on my bed wanting to puke after inserting my first tampon, just because I didn’t breathe when I did it. Now that I think about it, it was really funny.
But yea, as you can see, all you need is courage and a good knowledge of the product to start using a tampon. The process of inserting it is not as scary as how you imagine it to be. It happens naturally, and once it is in there, you do not feel anything. I like to compare using a tampon as using contact lenses: you don’t feel it if you don’t think about it and use it according to the recommended times.
Give yourself some time to get used to it. I started off by using tampons only on my heavier flow days, and gradually changed to using them more often. I am still using plastic applicators for now, but I would try the ones with cardboard applicators someday, or even better, just fingers with OB. Then I can save money, save space in my bag, and save the environment (from the plastic applicators).
FAQS ON USING TAMPONS
1. Do I use a pad when I use a tampon?
While it might leak when you have a heavy flow or do not change it on time, it won’t get too bad. A thin panty liner will do.
2. How often do I change a tampon?
Change it according to your flow. I personally change mine every 4-6 hours on heavy flows and 6-8 on light flows.
3. Will the string break?
The string is sewn onto the tampon, so the chances of it to break is really low; not unless you pull it super hard or use it beyond the recommended period.
4. Can I flush a used tampon?
THIS – I have been flushing down my used tampons because the instructions on the packages said so. But I did some research while I was writing this post and apparently tampons are not biodegradable. Many people had troubles with clogged septic tank and had to pay a lot for plumbers. I hadn’t had any trouble so far, but I guess I shall change my habit from now on? Grr… Part of the reason I love tampons was because I could just flush the used ones!
5. Do I wear a tampon when I sleep?
I do. I normally change to a new one right before I sleep, and take it out the first thing after I wake up. Just so I don’t have to worry about stained bedsheets when I wake up.
And I guess that’s it for today. I actually had a lot of fun writing this, and would be happy to talk about it if you have troubles or questions. Feel free to drop a comment or shoot me a message. Share your experience with us if you want to help inspire more ladies too!
If you are reading this and are considering to try out tampons soon, good luck to you!