I started using tampons 2 years back when I decided I didn’t want to miss a swim 5 days in a row due to my menstrual cycle. It took a while to get comfortable with them because they are tricky to wear. For the last 1 year, I have been planning to use them for my long runs as well because sanitary napkins give me horrible rashes. Yesterday I wore a tampon and instead of switching to a sanitary napkin after the swim, I left it on overnight and then changed into another tampon in the morning before my workout. Now, I can never go back to sanitary pads (except for today and Monday evening because I will be on the train and I want to ease into it).
I am using tampons from o.b which is a Johnson and Johnson brand. I pick up whatever brand is available at the medical store so there is zero brand loyalty right now. The pack of 10 costs Rs 110 (heavy flow) and pack of 20 (normal flow) is for Rs 175.
It takes time to get comfortable with a tampon because we are not used to jamming anything but penises in our vaginas. And even those won’t be in for 4-5 days at a stretch. (Penis joke out of the way, let’s focus now, shall we?)
This is what a tampon looks like. You have to remove the plastic wrapper.
This needs to be placed inside the vagina.
Biology lesson : There are 2 holes (technically, 3 if you include the asshole) – vagina opening and the urethra opening. The menstrual blood comes from the vagina and pee from urethra. This needs to be pushed inside the vagina till the point that you stop feeling it. It will take a few tries to get comfortable. When you stop feeling it inside you, you have placed it right. The string will hang outside and is used to pull it out when you need to change the tampon. How often do you need to change it? That varies from person to person depending on how much you bleed. I am not a big bleeder and I rarely get bad cramps so I change my pads atleast twice a day.
Here are the reasons tampons are better than sanitary pads:
- The tampon is inside the body so it soaks blood inside itself. There is no blood OUTSIDE which is a big relief
- When the blood comes in contact with air, it starts smelling. That does not happen when you wear a tampon. You don’t feel wet, sticky, uncomfortable and smell bad.
- No rashes. *jumps with joy*
- The vagina walls hold the tampon in. There is no chance of it slipping out. I had an intense workout today and there was no problem. I will also wear it while running this week.
- You can wear a thong which is impossible with a sanitary napkin.
- No worries about staining your clothes with blood. I put it on overnight and there was no issue. We all have been there, when we didn’t know our clothes were stained with blood.
- You can take a shower with your partner with a tampon inside you during your menstrual cycle
- If you have to pee, just move the string out of the way so it doesn’t get wet. Since the hole is different, the tampon won’t come out. Just remember that when you put too much pressure on your pelvic walls, this may come out. So, keep the pressure low.
- Complete freedom. I didn’t feel a thing with a tampon unlike a sanitary pad which you are aware of 24/7 for 4-5 days.
- All those things they tell you in the sanitary pads ad but are bullshit in real life? Well, tampons fit that criteria.
I am switching to tampons because I can afford it. Maybe you should try it too. Especially if you run/swim/workout and are tired of the horrible rashes. Even otherwise. It feels cleaner and more comfortable.
PS : I am not promoting o.b or tampons or getting paid for this. All views are mine and not up for sale.