Where were you when you got your first period? Did you realize it when you woke up one morning? Were you sitting in your 7th grade history class? Regardless of where you were, you probably felt a little overwhelmed. When it came to the feminine hygiene products, you were probably only presented with a pad, but why not a tampon? Even in 2018, tampons are seen as a bit taboo for some. Many parents avoid giving their young daughters tampons, so we’re here to discuss how old should you be to wear a tampon?
When it comes to feminine hygiene products, you’ll normally hear two major ones: pads and tampons. For some reason, pads are often seen as “normal” while tampons are often viewed as “risqué.” Recent years have introduced the rise of menstrual cups. Period panties, like our personal favorite, Panty Prop, help cancel out the need for feminine hygiene products. Even so, pads are often regarded as the safer and more common alternative for newly menstruating girls. Why are tampons seen as such a faux pas for young girls?
If one were to compare the ease of using a pad versus a tampon, it is obvious that pads are the easier of the two. While pads only require being placed on your underwear, tampons need to be inserted into the vagina. This brings us to another reason why parents shy away from giving their daughters tampons. Well into the 21st century, there is still a ridiculous myth floating around about tampons and virginity. Many people seem to believe that the act of inserting a tampon into the vagina is the same as sexual intercourse. It is not! Girls are duped into believing that using a tampon strips them of their virginity, and this is one-period myth that needs to be put to bed forever!
While pads seem like an easier alternative to tampons, they are also seen as a safer alternative. You might notice on tampon boxes that they give you a caution for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is a condition that happens when bacteria gets trapped inside the vagina. The side effects of TSS can range from rashes and fatigue to high fevers and vomiting. This is a reason why tampon users have to be careful to change their tampon every 4 to 8 hours.
When comparing pads and tampons, it seems like pads have more pros than tampons do, but that’s not necessarily true! Tampons have their own list of pros that make them useful and convenient to use! For the girls and women who are athletes, the bulk of a pad can often get in the way. The compactness of a tampon is usually desirable. Also while tampons are easier to dispose of, you might find yourself rolling an entire roll of toilet paper to hide it in a trash can.
With all this information, how old should you be to wear a tampon? As with many other questions, it depends! Rather than focusing on age, it might be better to focus on maturity and responsibility level. Before deciding whether or not you or someone you know should wear tampons, ask these three important questions:
Can they insert a tampon properly on their own?
Will they remember to change it every 4 to 8 hours?
Can they properly remove and dispose of it?
If you’re answering yes to these questions, you’re probably “old enough” to wear tampons! As for many things, there’s no particular age that you can use to determine whether a girl or woman should wear tampons. Regardless of your age, just make sure you’re using a product that you’re happy and comfortable with!