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Inserting A Tampon - Discover The Truth About The Safety Of Tampons

Updated on February 3, 2008

What a great invention the tampon was for the female menstruation cycle.The problem is that due to myths and lies that have been told about the safety of the tampon too many women both young and old are scared of using a tampon.

Many of the tales and myths related to tampons have even been added on to or made scarier through telling over and over again. Some of these myths even tell that there are cancer causing poisons and toxins in the tampons.

How about the one where the tampon gets lost forever in a woman's body?

The truth is that all those are essentially just myths. Tampons are medical devices as regulated by the FDA. Tampon designs and materials used are safe and tests and processes to ensure are of very high quality. The manufacturers of tampons conduct tremendous amounts of studies related to the safety of the tampon and they have to pass FDA tests and safety guidelines to be able to be marketed. The FDA even regulated the absorbency ratings of the tampons.

High absorbency of tampons was so far related to toxic shock syndrome. TSS was then mostly found with women that wore the tampons for a prolonged period of time without replacing it with a new one. Therefore, FDA added ratings to tampons to have the higher absorbency tampons only be used by women with heavy bleeding. TSS is also the only disease that is directly linked to the usage of tampons.

Fears that are still lingering around the tampon usage actually come from the time when the toxic shock syndrome was first discovered and identified. Tampons did not arouse any greater suspicion from its introduction into the market in the early 1930s until about 1980.

TSS is a serious disease that sometimes ends fatal. In those early years, 55 TSS cases and seven deaths were reported. Most of these cases got sick within a week after their periods and the numbers of deaths actually increased to a scary 37 deaths and 813 cases within two years.

Several broad nationwide and statewide studies related the TSS to a certain kind of tampon and material manufactured by Procter and Gamble, a material which since then has never been used again in the manufacturing of tampons.

TSS cases have decreased to only a few over several years and since the disease is related but not only exclusively bound to the usage of tampons, other things often cause these cases. Tampons are safe to use as long as the tampons are changed when necessary or at least every few hours.

To stay safe when using tampons, the FDA recommends several things to prevent problems with tampons. First of all, it is essential to follow package instruction. All tampons have their own instructions and following these is just as important as for any other medical device.

It is also important to choose the proper absorbency for your period. The lowest absorbency for your flow is the best choice so that tampons get exchanged often enough. Tampons should be exchanged frequently, at least every four to eight hours. It is also recommended to alternate feminine hygiene pads with the tampons to reduce the overall time tampons used.

To catch TSS early and stay safe, it is also important to know the signs of toxic shock syndrome. Also important are two more facts--do not use tampons between menstrual periods and do not use tampons for the bleeding after birth of a bay (lochia).

If used responsibly and instructions are followed, tampons can be a great addition to women's hygiene and also give a woman more freedom in movement and life style.

Women's health issues from puberty to menopause are explored here


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    • healthgoji profile image

      healthgoji 9 years ago

      Excellent and very informative article that really clears the air of mis-information.