Monday, 17 March 2008

Thereís a lot to consider when buying personal feminine hygiene products like tampons. We consult some health experts, a nurse and gynecologist, to find out more about the health issues surrounding the use of tampons.


The Basics

  • A tampon is made of soft, absorbent fibres formed into a small, cylindrical shape with a rounded end and is worn inside the vagina. It expands to fit a woman’s natural shape as it absorbs menstrual flow.

  • Most women don’t use the right size tampon. You should use the least absorbent tampon possible for your needs. It should be saturated within 3-4 hours. If not, it’s too big.

  • The FDA has standardized tampon absorption. Regardless of brand name, all “regular” tampons absorb the same amount. Same goes for “junior”, “super” and “super plus”.

  • We like multi-packs that contain various sized tampons. They may cost more but this way you’ll have the right absorbency on hand throughout your cycle.

  • Check the shape of the tampon. Our testers found that long and lean tampons are more comfortable to remove than ones that expand too much in width.

  • Dioxins are bleaching agents used to make tampons white. Most health experts, including the FDA, say the quantity of chemicals used is too small to be of concern, but you can buy organic tampons. They’re made with 100% pure cotton, and don’t contain bleaching agents or other chemicals.

Other Considerations

  • Tampons are available with no applicator, paper applicators, and plastic applicators. No applicator or paper applicators are more environmentally friendly than plastic, but you need to try them all to find out which is most comfortable for you.

Be Aware

  • Taking a tampon out while it’s still dry could cause tears to the skin.

  • The bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome is present on the skin of all women. Improper use of tampons is what leads to Toxic Shock Syndrome, not the tampons themselves.


We tested the absorbency of these regular absorbency tampons to see which would soak up the most blue liquid.

Absorbency Test

  • Natracare, OB and Tampax all did an equal job.

  • The generic weren’t that absorbent.


Choose a tampon depending on your applicator preference, and remember that you don’t have to buy the most expensive kind to get good protection.



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