To be clear, we’re not (totally) knocking tampons. They have pros—and some real cons, like the risk for TSS, a tendency to leak, and the potential to make period cramps worse.
Usually made from cotton or a blend of cotton and rayon, tampons are designed to trap and absorb menses within their porous fibers. Tampons expand as they absorb, putting pressure on your vaginal walls. They’re relatively rigid and unable to move with your body when your uterus contracts. Plus, they block the vaginal canal, trapping a little bubble of oxygen internally.
These factors can make your menstrual pain feel worse and for those with medical conditions like vulvodynia or vaginismus, a rigid product that expands isn’t an option.