Tampons are cool. There we said it. Why? Let us count the ways. For one, they’re discreet. You can tuck them into your pocket or purse and always have them on hand. Two, they’re organic and eco-friendly, at least Rael tampons are. And three, they’re very comfortable to wear. So comfortable that you may even momentarily forget you’re on your period.
The thing with tampons though, is that there are so many options, especially when it comes to absorbency. Strolling down the menstrual product aisle at Target can leave you feeling confused and overwhelmed. How are you supposed to choose? That’s what we’re here to help with. Below, we’re sharing signs that you’re not using the right tampon and other tips to help you find the best ones for your vagina and your flow.
Signs that you’re not using the right tampon
1. There’s leakage.
If you experience leakage when wearing a tampon or you need to change it too often, that’s a sign that you’re not wearing a tampon with enough absorbency. The tampon should absorb all the menstrual blood without there being an overflow. Try going up an absorbency and seeing how that goes. Alternatively, you can wear a pad, panty liner, or period panties to catch the leaks.
2. It’s painful or uncomfortable.
More is better, right? Well, that’s not necessarily the case with tampon absorbency. If you wear a super-absorbent tampon when your flow is light, the tampon will stay relatively dry, which can make it painful and uncomfortable when you insert, wear, and remove it. When you remove the tampon, blood should evenly soak it. If you find that there is still a lot white cotton leftover, go down an absorbency level.
Other things to consider
1. Find your flow.
Every period is different, and every day of your period, your flow will be different. To find the perfect tampon absorbency for you, track how heavy or light your period is on specific days during menstruation to learn your pattern. For example, after monitoring a few cycles, you might find that during the first two days of your period you need super + absorbency. But, after the third day, regular absorbency gets the job done. Your period may not stay the same from cycle to cycle, but it will at least give you a general rule of thumb.
2. Choose your favorite applicator.
In addition to different absorbency sizes, tampons also come with a variety of applicator types. Rael tampons, for example, are available with rounded bio-degradable cardboard applicators, slim BPA-free plastic applicators, and plant-based compact applicators. There’s no right or wrong option. They’re all organic and good for the environment. It’s just a matter of trying out the different types and seeing what feels the most comfortable for you.
3. Consider your lifestyle.
Your day-to-day schedule is another thing to take into account when choosing the right tampon. For instance, Rael’s Compact Tampons are great when you’re on-the-go. They’re smaller and easily fit in your pocket or even the smallest handbag. And just because they’re compact, that doesn’t mean they skimp on absorbency. Compact Tampons come in regular, super, and super + absorbencies. So regardless of how light or heavy your flow is, they’ve got you covered.
4. Tampon best practices
No matter what tampon absorbency you find is best for you, remember to practice good menstrual hygiene. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after inserting a tampon. Doctors recommend changing it out every four to eight hours. If you’re using super-absorbent tampons, change it out more often. The tampon can become very saturated with blood making it more susceptible to bacteria growth.