Can your budding teenager choose tampons? Read on for tampon myths

Virgins and tampons are a “No-No”, say the elders! Is it true? Teenagers often long to feel free during their menstrual cycle by using tampons. Are they safe to use from the start of the menstrual period? Let’s dispel a few “long term” misconceptions doing the rounds.

Tampons and virginity

Mothers often feel better if they are able to stop their girls from inserting anything into their vagina. Virginity has nothing to do with tampon insertion. Both virgins and non- virgins can insert tampons into the vagina. The only proof of the virgin state is the presence of the hymen that can break with the tampon insertion, horseback riding, sports or any other physical activity.

Age for tampon use

It may come as a surprise to you but the moment you start to menstruate you’re ready for a tampon. The tampon is shoved deep inside the vagina and it starts to absorb the blood right away preventing it from leaving the body. There are special tampons designed for the teenagers as they are very slim and slender that can be easily slipped inside the body. If the directions of usage are adhered to, the hymen is not destroyed. It’s just a matter of comfort level; the newly turned teenagers prefer the sanitary pads or the pantiliners (panty shields) in the beginning.

Comfort level

Tampons are supposed to offer comfort and in case it is felt inside the vagina that means it has not been placed inside properly. Remove the tampon and replace it properly. With practice the tampon placement will become easier.

Teen tampons or regular tampons

It’s the flow of the menstrual blood that decides the type of tampon that should be used. Slowly as the flow increases then the teen or teenager tampons are not enough, one has to use a regular one. Don’t worry if you have to choose the super tampons, just check the tampon string after about 8 hours. Is it blood stained? Then it’s ok otherwise change the absorbency size. You can also change more frequently if you are fine with the size.

The tampon is effective only till it absorbs the blood, just ignore the 8 hours bit scribbled on the instruction leaflet.

The fresh feeling tampons

This section is specially for the worried mummies. Rather than use a maxi pad opt for a tampon as it combats the feeling of wetness and the dirty menstrual blood odor. But leave the choice to your teenager. She may prefer a maxi pad to the tampon. You may have to change it even in an hour during the days you have a very heavy flow.

The toxic shock syndrome

The tampon needs to be changed periodically. Leaving it inside the vaginal tract for more than 8 hours can cause a buildup of toxins in the vaginal tract. This bacterial infection grows and invades the walls of the vagina and within five days of the beginning of your cycle one may develop rash, high fever, diarrhea and vomiting. The best way is to change the tampon within 6 hours.

If the flow is less and the tampon is dry one may experience difficulty removing it. It’s ok to sleep with a tampon on at night but what if one exceeds the 8 hours limit? So as a piece of advice be safe and opt for a maxi pad at night if you are sure you’re going to change it.

Keep an eye open for the tampon string. If it breaks squat on the floor, push hard and then scoop out the naughty tampon with your fingers. Do it yourself and you can clean the mess later or else you may have to be embarrassed at the hands of a doctor to get it removed.