Let’s all just talk about it: Tampons aren’t popular in Indonesia and one of the main reasons why is because this one myth about tampons make you lose virginity which in our society still considered everything. Speaking about myths, have you ever thought tampons are not safe? Thought that you will lose a tampon inside once you inserted it? Worried that you’d die from toxic shock syndrome (TSS)? Don’t worry girls, we will set some things straight here now and separate facts from fiction.
Myth 1: You Risk Dying of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Hearing all these horror stories about TSS can make you really stay away from tampons for good, but is it a real risk? Well, it is something to be aware of but definitely not something that should scare you away.
First of all, you can only suffer from TSS if you are already carrying a certain kind of pathological bacteria in your vagina already. And in addition to that you need to use highly absorbent tampons that are stronger than your flow. And then you have to carry it for way too long to have that type of bacteria overgrow and cause TSS in the end.
There are cases known in which women wore a tampon for WEEKS and the worst they suffered from is bad smell (which is not really a surprise). Anyways, if you think anything is wrong with you go see a doctor as anyone should with any health problem.
Bottomline: It is very unlikely to happen. Change your tampons every 8 hours and you are good. Even don’t worry too much if it takes a while longer.
Myth 2: You Will Lose Your Virginity Using Tampons
This is among the most common myths around. Truth to say, it is more of a social construct that the thought of inserting something into your vagina will make you lose your virginity. In addition, what would be the difference inserting a tiny tampon compared to the Obgyn’s tools? (If you don’t go regularly to a Obgyn change your routine and do it. Another piece on the risks you face if you don’t is coming up soon)
Anyways, losing your virginity by using a tampon is a joke. While you might break your hymen in unlikely cases you might have already broken it during sports practice and haven’t even noticed it.
Bottomline: If you haven’t had intercourse you are a virgin. No matter if your hymen is intact or not.
Myth 3: It Hurts to Insert and Remove Tampons
If it does happen, most likely it’s because either you need more practice or you are nervous and your muscles tense. If you feel uncomfortable with the tampon you have probably not inserted it far enough. In such case, it’s best to remove it and start over with a new one.
When you are struggling to pull it out it simply means it’s not due yet. When its soaked enough it will come out easily.
Bottomline: No, when inserted correctly it doesn’t hurt at all.
Myth 4: You Can Lose A Tampon Inside You/A Tampon Can Get Stuck
It is a tiny string on that tampon which looks like it might break easily, isn’t it? How to get it out if it does?
There are good news: It is impossible to lose a tampon inside you. Your vagina is not a black hole where things go missing mysteriously. It’s actually quite short. On average 10-15 centimeters. And it can’t move further in your body than that length. For the very, very unlikely event the string tears or breaks you might be able to fiddle it out by yourself or just pay the Obgyn a quick visit to solve that issue. Be aware that manufacturers are aware of that fear so it’s in their very own will to design tampons with strings that last.
If your tampon feels like its stuck its most likely just not due to be removed. If you are in in tension just relax, wait a bit more and try again. It will come out.
Bottomline: Anatomically impossible and a very little risk.
Myth 5: Tampons Cause Yeast Infections
Yeast infections usually happen before the period begins, so many people believe it is caused by the use of tampons, but actually it is not. Using antibiotics and other things can be a factor in the development of an infection but your tampon is not.
Bottomline: There are other factors which cause yeast infection, but tampon is not one of them.
Myth 6: The Size of A Tampon Doesn’t Matter
It does. A too absorbent tampon can dry out your vagina and cause small tears in the wall of it. It’s better to stick with the right size matching your flow. It’s a bit of trial and error in the beginning but you will be able to figure out quickly.
Bottomline: Tampon size matters, pick one which matches your flow.
Myth 7: You Can’t Wear Tampons Overnight
This is related to the TSS fears but generally there is no problem to wear them overnight. You can even try a bigger size if you know you will sleep more than 8 hours but chances where you are not fine are slim and you will be fine.
Bottomline: No problem in wearing tampons overnight.
Myth 8: You Need to Change Tampons Every Time You Pee
It might feel weird to go to the toilet with your tampon in but there is no risk. And luckily you also do not have to change the tampon every time you go. Vagina and bladder are not interconnected so nothing is blocked by a tampon. Actually, you might stress your vagina by changing too often because you constantly would put a dry and absorbent item in it. Pro tip: When you pee try to not pee on the string. That is not a good idea and its recommendable to change the tampon if you do.
Bottomline: Your bladder and vagina are separated, you don’t need to change tampons each time you pee.
Myth 9: Tampons Can Fall Out
No, when you insert them properly they will be held in place by the muscles around the entrance of your vagina. In that location you won’t feel it and don’t have to worry. This location also the reason why tampons usually don’t leak.
Bottomline: Your vagina muscles hold the tampon so well that it won’t fall out.
Myth 10: You Can’t Use Tampons For Your First Period/You Can’t Use Tampons Before You Had Sex
There is no reason why not to use tampons for your first period or before you had sex. I have to admit you might need a bit of practice and can be overwhelmed of you have never put something in your vagina before but there is no reason not to do it.
Bottomline: Follow your personal preference.
Myth 11: You Are A Bad Person If You Use Tampons Instead of Pads
This is not true at all. How would someone dare to call you a bad person for using products that are comfortable for your body? Don’t let other people shame you for your own preferences.
Bottomline: It’s up to you: your body, your authority.
Myth 12: Organic Tampons Are Safer Than The Regular Kind
Oh yeah, organic. Your food is organic, so why not anything else? However, there is no evidence of organic tampons be more safe or healthier at all. You can check this with the American FDA here. Or with german review magazine “Öko-Test” that found no harmful contents in all tested brands. Also, the ‘risk’ of TSS is the same.
Bottomline: Pick the tampon brand based on your preferences, but not because it claims to be organic. Tampons are biodegradable anyways.
Myth 14: there is Glyphosate in Tampons
Luckily this myth is a hoax. German journalists of the magazine “Correctiv” followed up these news that are spreading sometimes and found out that the claim of 85% of Tampons containing them is a total hoax. The Scientist Damian Marino who made that claim in 2015 never came up with a study to back it up and does not react to questions asking about it. Also, independent studies of the Bavarian Department of Health and Safety of Foods along with German TV channel ZDF and Swiss and French authorities could not find any traces of Glyphosate in any Tampons they tested. No cancer risk from Tampons after all.
Bottomline: Tampons don’t cause cancer.
BONUS – Myth14: Tampons Are Too Expensive
Unfortunately, this is sort of true in Indonesia but it follows supply and demand. There is no local manufacturing of these, so they are import goods in low demand. The more people demand them the more supply will become available and prices will drop. That aside there is no reason why tampons are so much more expensive. One way to avoid pharmacy prices is to order online, Your Liberty Shop for example has the best price for high quality tampons, go check it out!