As helpful as it would have been, most of us didn’t take a tampons 101 class when we first got our periods. This left us with many tampon-related questions. Can I sleep with a tampon in? Do I need to change it after I pee? How do I know if it’s inserted correctly? These are just some of the questions that might be swirling in your mind even if you’ve been using tampons for years. To clear things up once and for all, below we’re breaking down all the tampon dos and don'ts you need to know about.
1. Do wear organic tampons
Organic tampons aren’t just a trend. They are better for your body and a definite do. Traditional period products are laced with chemicals and harmful toxins. Rael’s Organic Cotton Tampons, on the other hand, don’t contain any fragrances, chlorine, pesticides, GMOs, or dyes.
2. Do insert the tampon far enough
How do you know if you’ve inserted a tampon correctly? Easy. You don’t feel it at all. If you do feel it or have any sort of discomfort, you probably didn’t insert it deep enough into the vagina. The trick is to push the tampon up towards your back as deep as it will go.
3. Do change your tampon after swimming
When you take a dip in the swimming pool or the ocean, your tampon too gets soaked in chlorine or salt-filled water. It’s important to change it out once you get out of the water to avoid any irritation.
4. Do change your tampon after you pee or poop
Technically, this one is totally optional. You don’t have to swap out your tampon every time you pee or move your bowels. However, we’re putting it into the do category because, let’s be honest, walking around with a tampon string that’s been peed on or could have potentially picked up bacteria from your bowels is no fun.
5. Do buy tampons with an easy applicator
Whether you’re a tampon newbie or a seasoned pro, we can all agree that tampons with smooth applicators make all the difference. Rael’s Organic BPA-free tampons, for example, are a dream to insert thanks to their ultra-thin applicator.
6. Do wash your hands before and after
Most of us (hopefully) remember to wash our hands after we’ve changed our tampon but don’t forget to also wash your hands before you remove your tampon and apply a new one. This will avoid contaminating the tampon before you insert it.
1. Don’t leave it in for too long
The longest you should leave a tampon in is eight hours. However, the doctor-recommended ideal time is four to six hours. So yes, you totally can sleep with a tampon in, but if you’re planning on hitting the snooze button in the morning, then maybe an Organic Overnight Pad is a better idea.
2. Don’t use a tampon with an open wrapper
If you find a tampon that’s already been opened or tampered with, toss it out. You never know what bacteria, dirt, or dust might be on it. Since the tampon is going inside your body, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Don’t use a tampon before your period starts
In most cases, being prepared is great. When it comes to tampons, however, popping one in before your flow starts is not the best idea. This can throw off the vagina’s healthy bacteria and dry it out increasing the risk of infection. If you don’t want your period to catch you off guard, wearing an Organic Cotton Liner or Period Panties is a better way to go.
4. Don’t use more absorbency than you need
Although toxic shock syndrome is rare, it can happen. Wearing a tampon with more absorbency than you need is one of the causes. So unless your flow is super heavy and you really need that extra protection, stick to regular absorbency tampons.
5. Don’t forget to take the tampon out
This might go without saying, but hey, it happens to the best of us. Pro tip: set an alarm or timer on your phone to remind you when you need to take it out. And if for whatever reason, you can’t take it out, go see your doctor asap.
6. Don’t use expired tampons
Yes, tampons do have an expiration date. It’s usually five years after they were made. So if you find some old tampons way in the back of your bathroom sink, it’s probably best to buy some fresh ones. Cotton is prone to attract mold and bacteria over time especially if you store them in a place where there’s a lot of moisture like the bathroom.