Can a Tampon Get Lost Inside My Vagina?
Updated: Jan 8
Each woman seems to have her own strong preference for tampons or pads. If you're trying to decide which is best for you, take a moment to consider the pros and cons of the tampon.
Tampons were initially invented during the days of the menstrual belt – an uncomfortable, highly unfashionable device that held pads in place before adhesive backing became commonplace. Under those circumstances, and despite the fact that the early tampon design left a lot to be desired, they were a godsend.
As pads have improved, so have tampons. Most now come with easy-to-use applicators, and they're available in many different sizes and absorbency levels. They're easy to pack discreetly, and (after a little practice) fairly easy to use.
But, there are plenty of downsides to tampons as well. For all their increased innovation, with the rise of period panties, they've begun to fall out of step.
Anyone who's ever read the back of a tampon box knows that there's an associated risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) that comes with wearing tampons. This risk is low, especially when worn correctly, but the syndrome is extremely dangerous – and if it isn't caught it's often fatal. But there are other, less well known downsides to tampons too.
Recently, it's come to the public's attention that tampons can contain harsh bleaching products and even traces of pesticides. This has led to some distrust of many mainstream tampon producers, and an increase in sales of organic tampons. While organics greatly reduce or eliminate the possibility of pesticides and unnatural bleaches, even organic tampons can cause irritation and lacerations. Whether it's due to vaginal dryness or improper insertion, minor abrasions are not uncommon with women who regularly wear tampons.
Under most circumstances, irritation due to tampons is minimal, and will go away on its own in a few days without leaving long-term effects. But is there really a need to add even a small amount of additional discomfort to one's menstrual cycle? The truth is that inserting anything into the vagina carries a risk of abrasion, even an organic tampon.
Many women switch to tampons because they believe they'll be safer from leaks and the unsightly stains that result. Unfortunately, this isn't the case. Tampons still leak under any of the following circumstances:
wearing the wrong absorbency level
not changing frequently enough
clotting (unable to absorb)
becoming dislodged due to physical activity
unexpectedly heavy flow
a strong sneeze
If you still prefer tampons, consider using a backup like period panties to keep your clothes safe from stains.
Tampons are generally safe and reliable, but it's always a safer option not to wear anything inside the vagina. Wearing and regularly changing breathable pads is the best way to stay healthy during your period. Now that period panties are available, everything women once turned to tampons for (such as sports, strenuous activity, leak prevention, and discretion) can now be gotten with a sanitary pad. All the benefits, none of the additional risks – that's a good deal any way you look at it.