A Lankan Girl’s Guide To Tampons - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka
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A Lankan Girl’s Guide To Tampons

Here’s everything you’ll need to know!

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In good ol’ Lanka, there are two types of people: the ones who are totally on board with the idea of tampons and those who are not. Many of us have grown up with horror stories (no thanks to school and home) about how terrible wearing a tampon is. As a result, many women are terribly uninformed on the subject. But, we’re here to set the record straight!

Back to Basics!

Tampons were commercialized after World War I when people discovered that less gauze was utilized compared to sanitary pads. Today, however, we use tampons for convenience. Imagine you’re heading to the beach with boo, but you know you won’t be able to get in ‘cause you just got your period. What do you do now? Tampons to the rescue! On the one hand, tampons can truly be a lifesaver and on the other, it’s merely personal preference.

The Varieties & Application

There are 3 types: a cardboard applicator, a plastic one and a digital tampon that has no applicator.

The cardboard type is quite hard to insert, especially, during a light period flow. This is because your vaginal opening will be less moist! The one with a plastic applicator can save you on days your period isn’t as heavy, as you can easily slide it in.

When gliding the tampon in, take off the applicator and keep the soft sponge inside. Make sure the string is dangling out a little as you will not be able to remove the tampon smoothly.

What’s not as commonly known is that tampons can cause a condition called Toxic Shock Syndrome if used irresponsibly! So, ladies, never leave your tampon in for too long. Ideally, change it every 4 hours. You can perhaps extend it up to 6 to 8 hours, but not a minute more than that!

“What tends to happen in some of the cases is that people forget that there is a tampon inside, shared Dr. Nilani Kaluarachchi, MB ChB (UK), D.R.C.O.G (UK), DFFP (UK). “So, if you feel any infective symptoms like fever, shivers or fatigue, do a quick check to ensure you’re not wearing a tampon.” This condition can pass the infection into your blood and may even lead to death in some instances.

“When choosing the right tampon, pick the least absorbent one which will get soaked quickly,” suggested Dr. Nilani. “This will force you to change it more often and avoid forgetting about it.”

Old Wives’ Tales

I can’t count the many times my mother (and my friends’ moms) have lectured, “Don’t use tampons. You can lose your virginity!” Well, it will definitely distort your hymen, but this won’t take away your virginity. You will only lose your virginity when you have sex. “Believe it or not, your hymen can be broken due to other means like sports or fingering,” said Dr. Nilani.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • Don’t leave your tampon in for more than 4 – 6 hours.
  • Be as gentle as you can when you slide it in.
  • Use a tampon that is the least absorbent available.
  • Make sure not to snap the string as it’s hanging out.
  • Don’t ever forget and leave it inside you. Place a reminder on your smartphone to remind you to change it!

Our society is pretty pad-centric, so being slightly phobic around tampons isn’t unusual. As long as you use it within the precautionary boundaries, you will be completely fine!

This article was originally published as ‘Everything You Need To Know About Tampons’ in the September 2018 issue of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka. For more health and life advice, grab a copy of our latest magazine.

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