Now that you’ve read a little bit about pads vs tampons, here are some tips to keep in mind if you choose tampons. To learn more about options in addition to tampons and pads, read these great tips from www.girlshealth.gov:
- It is very important to use the tampon with the lowest level of absorbency for your needs.
- On heavy days, you may need a “super” tampon, and as your flow gets lighter, you may need only a “regular” tampon. Or, you may need a “regular” tampon on heavy days, and then can switch to a “lite” tampon for lighter days.
- If you remove the tampon after four to eight hours and find that some white material is still showing, you should use a lower absorbency.
- If a tampon absorbs as much as it can before four hours, you might want to try a higher absorbency.
- Girls who have never had sex can use a tampon. You might try a “slender” tampon at first because they can be easier to put in. What about your virginity? Some people think having a torn hymen (the covering to the vagina) means you aren’t a virgin. Using a tampon might stretch or tear your hymen — or it might not. But doctors say that changes to your hymen do not mean you aren’t a virgin. Having sex means you aren’t a virgin.
- In particular, it is commonly stated in Muslim communities that using a tampon is impermissible. There is absolutely no proof that using a tampon is impermissible in Islam.
- You could be at risk for toxic shock syndrome (TSS) if you use tampons that are too absorbent or don’t change them often enough. You can avoid TSS by not using tampons at all, changing them often, or by switching back and forth between tampons and pads. The symptoms of TSS can be caused by many other illnesses, but make sure to tell an adult and call a doctor if you are using tampons and have the following:
- High fever that comes on all of a sudden
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Muscle pains
- Dizziness or fainting
- A rash that looks like sunburn
- Redness of eyes, mouth, and throat
- Strange vaginal discharge (fluid)
- A feeling of confusion
We hope this list may help you decide what is best for you. It’s ok not to know right away – you may feel comfortable using one for a while and then change your mind. There are also ways to care for your period that are reusable or natural, such as:
- Menstrual cups. You put a small cup into your vagina to collect blood. Some cups are for one-time use. Others are emptied, washed well, and reused.
- Reusable pads.These are pads that are washed and reused. Usually, you would put a cloth pad into a liner that attaches to your underwear. You change the pad as needed and wash it according to the maker’s instructions. These pads are more expensive than disposable ones, but they save money over time because they last for years.
- Reusable menstrual sponges.These are natural sponges from the ocean floor. They work the same way tampons do. Follow the company’s instructions for changing them (usually after around three to four hours) and washing them. Just like with regular tampons, it may be possible to get toxic shock syndrome from sea sponges.
Non-chlorine bleached all-cotton pads and tampons. These are disposable like regular tampons and pads, but they are made without chemicals. They are usually more expensive than other pads or tampons.