I Hate Tampons: Top 5 Reasons [and a solution]
Top 5 Reasons I Hate Tampons
I hate tampons. Don’t get me wrong, I hate pads too, but at least they don’t lie to me; tampons lie. From the box of special sizes promising SUPER absorbance to the smiling women in the commercials, tampons deliver a promise I once believed in. I would forgo wearing “leak insurance” (dark loose clothing) and shell out the extra money to supersize my tampon purchase, but those days are soon to be gone. I can pray for early menopause, or I can change my menstrual pad game.
These are five reasons why I'm done with being played by Playtex/Kotex/Tampax.
I Hate That They Create a False Sense of Security
So my period starts. I stick one of “the big ones” right in and think I must be good to go. Every bit of civilization disappears and I am transported to a sunny, wildflower-covered meadow doing ballet moves and wearing my whitest whites just like the women in every menstrual product commercial ever.
Suddenly, in mid pas de bourée, I feel it. It has only been two minutes, but the blood refuses to absorb and now it is staining my jeté whites.
I’ve been duped. Punked. Falsely lulled into super-sized, super-absorbent sweet talk that now has me rushing to the nearest bathroom in search of a cloth pad, a panty-liner, a bit of toilet paper...anything absorbent. Maybe next time I’ll know better.
I Hate That There is No Right Time to Change Them
It's hard to know when it's the right time to change a tampon, and when it is time to change, it’s sometimes too late. Menstruation is not a precise process and many menstrual products do not meet every woman’s need. Heavy days may require a backup method, but women on birth control frequently experience lighter periods.
Sometimes eight hours isn’t enough time to comfortably change a tampon. I'm talking about the dreaded yank when it's time to change. One light day and you're pulling the string on dry cotton, a feeling that's not nearly as pearly smooth as the plastic applicator from earlier. Houston, we have a problem.
Toxic Shock Syndrome
Toxic Shock Syndrome is a form of staph or strep infection in the place you hold most near and dear, and unlike cramps, it can’t be improved with chocolate.
In a race to compete for the most absorbent tampon, tampon manufacturers began adding synthetic food-grade thickeners (carboxymethylcellulose) to the tampons of the late 1970's. Gross. And while we no longer rely on cellulose gum to absorb menstrual blood, most – if not all – menstrual-related toxic shock syndrome cases are attributed to super absorbency tampons.
Women are less likely to contract TSS if avoiding super absorbent tampons...which means using slenderer one and changing your tampon more frequently on heavy days.
And because tampons can only be worn for eight hours, you can’t sleep in them without worrying about wearing a backup disposable pad. Imagine going to bed feeling leak-free and safe.
I Hate Getting Them In...and Then Getting Them Out
I hate striking a yoga pose to insert a tampon. There’s the low squat, the one-leg-up/one-leg-down, and the wide-legged pose otherwise reserved for the TSA.
You will probably change your tampon in a public restroom at some point during your cycle. There, caught between two stall walls and a faulty latch, you will assume standing half pigeon armed with Tampax Pearl. But no plastic pearly-tipped applicator or deluxe gentle glide technology will compensate for the weird public bathroom acrobatics every woman will do to stick her tampon in.
And then you lose the string...and schedule an emergency appointment with your mom or your OBGYN so she can excavate your vagina for your missing tampon. Epic fail.
They’re Not Sexy
Period sex feels extra sensational for women with more sensitive nerve endings. Increased blood flow lubricates the vagina and makes for more intense feeling. It’s a healthy way to be sexually expressive and distract from the other pains of having a period. But you can’t have sex while wearing a tampon. Once I can pull the cord like Flashdance, maybe I’ll come back to tampons.