You've been using tampons for a few years, now, but are there still some things you aren't sure of and can't ask anyone because you feel you're "supposed to already know"? Relax, you're not alone. While you're confident understanding the facts about going swimming with a tampon...and remaining a virgin after you use a tampon...certain questions remain. For some reason, tampons have been the target of misinformation for years. BeingGirl is out to clear up these rumors by addressing your most popular concerns. If your issue is not dealt with below, send your question to our Ask The Experts section and they'll be happy to respond.
"I've heard the same story since I was thirteen about a girl who lost a tampon inside and never found it. Is that even possible?"
Well, that's one story that falls into the realm of fiction! Your five-inch long vagina is a "closed campus." At the top is the cervix, the gatekeeper to the uterus. Which has a very small opening that allows menstrual fluid and sperm through but isn't big enough for a tampon or other objects to pass through. That said, a tampon may move up in your vagina beyond your reach. If you leave the tampon in, it could cause a foul discharge or a minor infection. Here's what you have to do: Squat down and insert your thumb and forefinger into your vagina. Sweep the fingers back and forth and try to feel the cord or tampon itself. Once you feel the tampon/cord, grasp it and pull it out. If your tampon is AWOL, you need to see your gynecologist.
"My girlfriend says she was taught she could flush her tampons and the packaging down the toilet. Is she correct?"
Let's all join in and take care of this precious planet and NOT flush any plastic applicator parts or packaging down the toilet when you use a tampon.
"I read the boxes and know that tampons are made to accommodate varying blood flows. How are you supposed to compare your flow? Is yours heavier or lighter than the woman who is buying the same box?"
Don't get hung up on measuring exact amounts. Even if it seems you are flowing heavily, the total each month is usually only about a quarter of a cup. Try different absorbencies on different days. A good rule of thumb is to change your tampon every four to eight hours. If your tampon isn't saturated by then, use a less absorbent size. You should always use a tampon with the lowest absorbency tampon for your flow.
"How worried should I be about rumors of asbestos...of bleaching...of cancer causing fibers used in making tampons...that I read on the Internet?"
Tampons are classified as medical devices under federal law and, as such, are tightly regulated by the Federal Drug Administration. Manufacturers are subject to routine and surprise inspections by the agency to ensure compliance with the regulations. Falsehoods about "toxic tampons" may run rampant, but they are unfounded.
"How come sometimes it's a piece of cake to remove my tampon...and other times it's really tricky?"
There are three main reasons why it might be more difficult one time than another when you use a tampon. If you take the pill, chances are your periods are lighter. Hormone fluctuations might cause you to experience a slightly drier vagina. And changing your tampon too early can be the cause of your difficulty. If you have trouble removing your tampon, usually a change in position...and a dose of relaxation...will help. See if a lower absorbency tampon works better for you next time.