Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  New Poll  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Quick question about tampons.

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Quick question about tampons.
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, I've got a question about tampons. As before, I am more than happy to wait until you have seen to younger members of the board first.

Despite having periods for a looooong time now, I have never used tampons. When I first started my periods, my mum warned me against using them because she knew of someone who had suffered Toxic Shock Syndrome. Ever since, I have relied on pads, which of course are absolutely fine. However, as I have got older I have been wondering about ways to make my period more comfortable for me, especially as it has got heavier and more inconvenient. Spurred on by the fact I am going on holiday tomorrow and - surprise - got my period today, I bought a box of tampons at the supermarket.

Well, I bought two boxes because I had heard about how you need different absorbancies for different times and so on. This is what I am unsure about. The leaflet says to try a regular one out and if it's soaked through, use a higher absorbancy, and if it's got white patches showing when you change it, use a lower one. My question basically is - what's wrong with having the white patches? Will something bad happen if I keep using a higher absorbancy? I think I am confused simply because surely how much it's absorbed is also based on how long you've left it in, so maybe if you change it after 2 hours it'll be different from after 4, and would this hurt you in any way? I know not to leave one in overnight, but I go to the loo quite often during the first couple of period days because of the pressure on my bladder, so I expect to be changing it fairly frequently.

I have one in just now, the first one! I can't even feel it, and it was easy to insert which was nice. I am just about ready to go to the loo after 2 hours and am thinking I should change it just to see how things are going. Any advice on this would be most welcome. I feel a bit daft asking about this as I am definitely not a newbie to periods, but as I say I am not used to tampons. I can see the advantages (for me) already, though!

Thanks a ton in advance.

Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for being willing to wait! [Smile]

So, since it sounds like TSS is your main concern, where real TSS risks happen are a) with tampons which are not 100% cotton, b) when using a higher absorbency than you really need, but mostly c) with not changing them often enough.

So, as far as safety goes, you want to try and stick with those made only with natural fibers 9and avoiding bleaches is also a good idea), start with the lower absorbency and only switch up if needed, and change them every few hours (the general rule of thumb is every four hours or so), sticking with pads or a menstrual cup for nighttime when you're sleeping.

Just so you're ready in case, because tampons pull fluids from the vagina, some people experience more cramping when they use them. That doesn't mean something is wrong, that's just how they work and sometimes that's a side effect of the way they work.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
moonlight bouncing off water
Peer Ambassador
Member # 44338

Icon 1 posted      Profile for moonlight bouncing off water     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Not sure if it's okay to ask because this is someone else's thread: but what are some cotton-only brands of tampons?

--------------------
~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I think that in Canada, moonlight, both Natracare and Seventh Generation have distribution. Those are all cotton brands likely to show up in general markets.

O.B. tampons, last I checked (I don't even know the last time I used a tampon myself, easily a decade ago, so I only look this stuff up for others), also are still all-cotton, and I *think* even some more mainstream brands offer all-cotton versions. There is definitely a lot less rayon out there in tampons, period, than there used to be.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Heather. I am using Tampax (I'm in the UK) and they are natural. I get cramps regardless so I probably would not have noticed but that is interesting to know! I'm about to go and change mine and see what happens.

So can I ask, why would there be a risk of TSS with using a higher absorbancy? This is the part I was unsure of and how to know exactly what to use. I guess if I changed it after four hours and compared, I could see if I needed a lower one? I'm used to just sticking a pad on and that's all so it is all pretty new! (I did actually buy a cup a couple of years ago but have been too apprehensive to use it.) I will definitely use a pad at night-time.

Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know the answer to that one, all I know for sure is that the data played out to show there was. My best educated guess about why would be that the higher the absorbency, the more of the vaginas own fluids are absorbed, thus, the more raw -- and vulnerable -- the tissue. And/or, the issue of more fibers being in the vagina in the first place.

But really, the biggest issue now is just leaving them in too long, so I think in trying this out for the first time and changing as often as you plan to, there's no big cause for concern here.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, that's great and very reassuring! I can't believe it took me this long to try them, but I guess it's just best to do these things when you're ready. I just changed it, and it had some white left on it (but I don't have a lower absorbancy type to try, unfortunately... my periods are usually heavy the first two days so I guess I assumed I'd need regular ones). I will be changing regularly as you say so it sounds fine! I felt a little as if the string was going to come off while I was pulling the tampon out, but I assume this isn't something that happens often or no one would use them! Yeah, I worry too much.
Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
All sounds fine.

And no, the string isn't likely to come off. Even if it does, your vagina ends at the cervix, so getting it out wouldn't be difficult.

But if you felt like you were yanking a lot, you can also just make sure you're relaxing your muscles or bearing down with them, like you do when making a bowel movement. Either could make it less of a struggle. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sorry, I was just looking at the Tampax I bought and I stand corrected - it says cotton or cotton/rayon. I'm not sure which it's made from, as that's not very specific. Of course they claim on their website that rayon is fine and safe, but I know nothing about this. I'll be doing some research. Maybe I should switch brands?
Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Personally, I strongly suggest that if anyone is going to use tampons, they stick to all cotton, and ideally, organic and unbleached.

Just FYI, you might also want to look into menstrual cups like the Divacup or Lunette. They collect flow instead of absorbing it, and internal like tampons, have no association with TSS, and environmentally WAY more sound, plus they are reusable for a VERY long time, so cost-wise, you save a pile of money in a relatively short time versus buying disposable pads or tampons.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I will look into finding those sorts of tampons, for sure.

I bought a Mooncup but remain too apprehensive about using it. I don't really know why. Partly I think I don't enjoy my periods at all and find the process a bit of a hassle, and I think I feel that I'd be too 'involved' with it if I used a cup, if that makes sense. It seems a lot more hands-on. The advantages sound great, which is why I bought it, but... haven't worked my way up to it yet, not sure if/when I will to be honest. I'm sure that sounds pathetic!

Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It doesn't. We all get to have our preferences with managing flow, just like with anything else.

Too, I do think there can be a learning curve and a comfort curve with all of this stuff, so I think for some people going from pads to a cup might well be too much of a leap. If it is for you, then it is!

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, I think that sounds right. After a while of using tampons, I might feel more ready to try the cup. It's there if I want to, at least!

I had a quick google of cotton-only tampons and it seems they really aren't much of a thing in the UK. I have found one main brand which are about twice as expensive as the regular brands, which I guess is understandable. I will look into buying them anyway though as it is obviously worth expense to have better products for your body. It's a shame that more of the big companies aren't eliminating other stuff from their tampons, really.

Thanks for your help here, it's much appreciated!

Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...and that, of course, does boil down to profits over health.

Also, it never fails to amuse me (in that way where I'm not amused at all), but here in the states, anyway, our major manufactures of menstrual products have been almost exclusively companies owned by people who don't menstruate and never have.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Saffron Raymie
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 49582

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Saffron Raymie     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know if the all-natural brand you found was called 'Cottons', but Boots' online store is giving me the price of £1.99 for 16 regular all-naturals, compared with Tampax's £1.29 for 12 regular tampons, still a bit of an annoying price difference, but: http://www.boots.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/EndecaSearchListerView?storeId=10052&langId=-1&catalogId=10552&stReq=1&searchTerm=cottons&newDepSearch=&x=31&y=19#container

Another option to consider might be sea sponge tampons, which are reasuable like the cup. They're very soft - you just wet them a little, squeeze out the water and insert, then, when you feel them getting heavy, you remove and rinse them out, then re-insert. The offical website for sea sponges is here: http://www.jadeandpearl.com/catalog/index.php and to buy them in the U.K (which, as you probably know is quicker and cheaper), there are these two sites:

http://www.pinkrobin.co.uk/shop/shop.php?pg1-cid265.html and http://www.femininewear.co.uk/sea-pearls-sea-sponge-tampons---pack-of-3-1358-p.asp (if you find the washable tampon on that last site, I don't recommend it as it can be pretty fiddley). That first site - Pink Robin - also sells all-natural tampons made of cotton (though still expensive).

--------------------
'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
K83
Neophyte
Member # 80080

Icon 1 posted      Profile for K83     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, I just wanted to give you an update as you were so helpful to me (and Rei too despite the fact I didn't see your comment till now!).

I used tampons on my holiday and it went absolutely fine. I felt so much better sitting on the plane and being in 35C heat without a pad on - that's a personal feeling, of course, but it was a huge difference to me. It didn't take as long to get used to as I expected which was really good.

I used them this month too and again noticed such a difference in how I felt able to do things more comfortably. I haven't done anything further about looking for cotton ones but will do so in the future. I am a bit paranoid about TSS and this period, on the second day, I felt really unwell and automatically worried that it might be that. It wasn't, obviously, and I am sure I will be fine using them for just a few days each month!

I don't think I want to use anything reusable but I will check out the Boots link, thank you.

Posts: 17 | From: Scotland | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, wahoo!

It's nice when something so relatively small or minor can be a nice mini-liberation. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

  New Poll   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3