Are Tampons Dangerous?

Are Tampons Dangerous?

Dr. Pari was featured as a guest contributor in the article below, originally posted for YSB now.

Dear Dr. Pari,

I’m scared to use tampons because I’ve heard that they’re dangerous, and cause things like Toxic Shock Syndrome. Is it true that tampons are unsafe? If so, are there alternatives to pads that are safer? And what exactly IS toxic shock syndrome?

Tired of Pads

Dear Tired of Pads,

There is no reason to be afraid of tampons! You just need to know what they are and how to use them. Some tampons have a plastic or cardboard applicator tube that helps slide the tampon into your vagina. Some tampons do not have applicators and are inserted with just your fingers. (sometimes this takes practice). Both have a short string attached to the end of the tampon that hangs out of your vagina to help you pull it out when its time to remove it. 

So when is that??!?! Tampons come in different sizes dependent on your flow. No matter the size i.e. super, regular or slim, you should change your tampon at least every 4–8 hours. Leaving a tampon in for a long time has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Toxic Shock Syndrome is a life threatening complication that is caused from a bacterial infection. It is a rare complication! A more common complication from a tampon is vaginal irritation, therefore, some girls benefit from using hypoallergenic or all natural tampons. 

An alternative to pads and tampons is a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is a plastic or rubber cup that is inserted into the vagina and catches the menstrual blood. You remove and empty the cup every 8–12 hours. The most popular menstrual cup is the DivaCup

Another awesome benefit of the DivaCup is that it is reusable so it is a great alternative for all of you environmentally conscious girls! 

So as you can see you have a couple of options. Hope this helps!

Dr. Pari

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