Sure, tampons are convenient and in this day and age women are basically pushed to use them, but could they be more dangerous than we are led to believe? There is a lot about tampons that we are not taught, and I believe that is pretty disturbing, to say the least.
No, using tampons is not going to take your purity away, but it might cause a lot more damage than you’re willing to sign up for in the long run. Many people think they are better than pads because they are a little less messy, but that nervousness you feel when you make the switch to tampons is not unwarranted whether you understand what you are getting yourself into or not.
To begin with, ingredients that go into things like tampons and even pads are nowhere near as regulated as they should be. Full ingredient disclosure isn’t even mandatory in regards to these feminine hygiene products. Considering how absorbent our vaginas are this is something that should not be happening. We should know everything that is going into the things we are putting on or in our bodies.
Also, did you know that most tampons go through a chlorine bleaching process? This leaves behind a residue that can literally cause cancer. No, I’m not joking. It leaves behind Dioxins which are known to be very carcinogenic. They have been linked to things like hormonal issues, endocrine disruption, and abnormal tissue growth to name a few.
Not to mention some of the fibers on the tampons themselves can break off inside of our bodies and become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Toxic Shock Syndrome:
Toxic shock syndrome is one of the biggest tampon use risks and can literally cost you or someone else their life. While it is recommended by the FDA that tampons be free of dioxin (including TCDD and TCDF) most still have trace amounts. These trace amounts can be damning when you consider the amount of tampons that we actually use and how long we use them for, basically our whole lives.
A 2002 study actually found detectable levels of TCDF in all four brands of popular tampons that they tested all of which came from the same. Unfortunately, the study does not list the tampon brands, but there are only a few major tampon brands on the marked.
Don’t get me wrong, toxic shock syndrome is not something that happens all the time. It is considered to be rare, but it still occurs much more often than it should. TSS is something strongly associated with the use of tampons and comes with symptoms like headaches, kidney failure, light sensitivity, peeling of the skin, vomiting, fever, and so much more. You see the bacteria that causes TSS is quite dangerous.
For TSS to occur specific types of bacteria have to over-grow and make large amounts of the TSS toxin. From there it also must enter the bloodstream. Tampons come into play, as mentioned above with pieces breaking off and allowing the growth of bacteria. However, tampons also encourage bacteria growth by leaving them in for too long. Just because they “can” be left in for prolonged periods, does not mean that they should.
If you are using tampons when your flow is very light it is much more likely that you might have these fibers stick to your vaginal walls and could be causing tiny abrasions when removing them. Treatment for TSS includes a stay in the hospital, proper medication, an IV drip for fluids, and depending on the severity medical treatment to resolve any complications like in the case of kidney failure.
A True Story About Toxic Shock Syndrome:
I remember seeing an article a couple years back on a girl who had TSS that really stuck with me and still does even now. That girl’s name was Rylie Whitten and she was only 15 years old when she came down with TSS and almost lost her life.
It all started with flu-like symptoms and even the doctor chalked it up as that and sent her home with some flu medicine. Unfortunately, her symptoms never went away and only continued to grow worse. Days later she ended up in the ER and after testing they noticed she did not have influenza at all but a major infection and was dealing with some kind of malfunction within her kidneys.
She was airlifted to a different hospital and there it was determined that she was suffering from TSS. She thought she was using the ‘high-absorbency tampons’ properly, but as it turns out, she was very wrong. It took over all of her major organs and literally began shutting them down. TSS occurs in 1 out of every 100,000 people and if not caught in time can kill.
Rylie came out of this alive but she was on a ventilator for quite some time. This is one of many cases and some end much worse than Rylie’s did. One woman actually lost her leg as a result of TSS. If you must use tampons please change them regularly, every hour is best. Don’t opt for the super-absorbent ones and be careful.
I for one have not used a tampon since becoming educated on this topic and will never use one again.
For more information please feel free to check out the video below. Also, keep in mind there are other options out there, if you still don’t want to use pads there are ‘period panties,’ diva cups, and so many other things you can try.