What is Tampon Used for

Every woman has used or at least heard of tampons at some point in her life.

But what is tampon used for exactly?

How does it work and what are the benefits compared to other menstrual products?

In this article, we will explore all the different aspects of tampons, including their purpose, benefits, and potential risks, so you can make an informed decision about using them during your period.

Benefits of Tampons Over Other Menstrual Products

Tampons are a menstrual product that is widely used by women around the world.

There are many benefits to using tampons over other menstrual products, such as pads.

One of the biggest advantages of tampons is their convenience.

Unlike pads, which need to be constantly readjusted to prevent leaks, tampons can be inserted and forgotten about for several hours.

This makes tampons ideal for women who lead busy lives and don’t want to constantly worry about their menstrual flow.

Another advantage of tampons is their discreetness.

Tampons are small and can be easily carried in a purse or pocket without drawing attention to themselves.

This makes them an ideal choice for women who want to keep their menstrual cycles private.

Additionally, tampons are very comfortable to wear and provide better protection against leaks than pads.

Tampons are designed to stay in place during physical activity, so women can participate in sports and other activities without worrying about leaks or discomfort.

Overall, tampons are a great choice for women who want a convenient, discreet, and comfortable menstrual product that provides excellent protection against leaks.

While there are other menstrual products available, such as pads and menstrual cups, tampons remain a popular choice for many women around the world.

Types of Tampons

Tampons are cylindrical-shaped feminine hygiene products that are designed for the insertion into the vagina during menstruation to absorb menstrual flow.

There are two main types of tampons: applicator and non-applicator tampons.

Applicator tampons are pre-inserted and have a plastic or cardboard applicator that assists in the insertion of the tampon.

On the other hand, non-applicator tampons require manual insertion as they come without any applicators.

One of the main benefits of applicator tampons is that they provide ease of use and mess-free insertion.

They are also convenient for women who may have difficulty reaching the cervix during insertion.

Non-applicator tampons, on the other hand, are environmentally friendly, as they generate less waste compared to applicator tampons.

They are also smaller in size, making them more discreet to carry around.

Both types of tampons have their benefits, and the choice between the two is a matter of personal preference.

How to Use Tampons

Using tampons is a common feminine hygiene approach that is known for its convenience, discretion, and effectiveness.

If you are new to tampons, the idea of inserting them might seem a bit daunting, but with a few simple steps, the process can be relatively straightforward and painless.

Here’s how to use tampons:

  1. Before inserting the tampon, wash your hands thoroughly to minimize the risk of infection.

In a comfortable position, either standing with one foot raised or squatting, use your fingers to gently separate your labia.

  1. Take the tampon out of its wrapper and hold it between your index finger and your thumb.

Ensure that you position the tampon, so the string is pointing away from your body.

  1. Keeping the top of the tampon angled slightly towards your back, insert the tampon into your vagina using gentle pressure.

You can use your index finger, or the applicator to guide the tampon.

Once you feel that the tampon is inserted comfortably, stop pushing.

  1. The next step is positioning your tampon correctly.

If you feel any discomfort or if the tampon is not seating correctly, use your finger to adjust the angle or depth of the tampon.

  1. Finally, once the tampon is positioned comfortably, remove the applicator if you used one.

The string should be visible outside of your body, ensuring that the tampon can be easily removed later.

Remember to change your tampon every four to eight hours, or when you feel it becoming saturated.

When it is time to remove the tampon, gently pull the string downwards and outwards, ensuring that you hold it securely.

By following these simple five steps, you can be confident that you are using a tampon correctly, and that your menstrual cycle will no longer hold you back from your daily routine or activities.

Potential Health Risks Associated with Tampon Use

While tampons are generally safe to use, there are potential health risks that users should be aware of.

One of the most well-known risks associated with tampon use is toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but serious bacterial infection that can be fatal if left untreated.

TSS is caused by certain types of bacteria, and tampon use can increase the risk of developing TSS if the tampon is left in for too long, allowing the bacteria to flourish.

Symptoms of TSS include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and a rash that looks like sunburn.

To reduce the risk of TSS, it is important to change tampons frequently (at least every 4-8 hours), use the lowest absorbency level necessary for your flow, and consider using pads or alternative menstrual products, such as menstrual cups or period underwear, instead of tampons.

Other potential health concerns associated with tampon use include vaginal irritation, allergies or sensitivities to materials in tampons, and the potential for tampon fibers to become lodged in the vaginal wall or cervix.

To help mitigate these risks, it is important to choose high-quality tampons made from natural, breathable materials, and to always follow the instructions on the packaging for proper use and disposal.

Alternative Menstrual Products

Alternative menstrual products are a popular alternative to tampons for menstrual hygiene.

Menstrual cups, for example, are one of the most popular alternatives that are currently available in the market.

Menstrual cups are flexible cups made of rubber or silicone that can be inserted into the vagina and collect blood.

They are eco-friendly and can be used for several years, unlike tampons that need to be replaced every few hours.

They also have minimal environmental pollutants compared to the tampons.

A downside of menstrual cups is that they require some practice to properly insert and remove.

Cloth pads are another option that is gaining popularity.

They are machine washable and reusable.

They can be purchased pre-made or made at home.

Cloth pads are also eco-friendly and economical in the long run.

One disadvantage of cloth pads is that they need to be changed more frequently than tampons or menstrual cups.

Period panties, which are specially designed underwear, are also available in the market.

They have a built-in liner that can absorb menstrual blood and act as a leakage barrier.

Period panties are comfortable and environmentally friendly.

They are a good option for lighter flows.

However, they require thorough washing and drying before reuse.

In conclusion, there are many alternatives to the traditional tampon that offer benefits such as sustainability, eco-friendliness, long-term economic savings, and convenience.

It’s up to each person to decide which alternative best suits their needs and lifestyle.


In summary, tampons are a popular menstrual care product that offer numerous benefits to women.

They are convenient, discreet, and can be worn during a wide range of physical activities.

They also pose a lower risk of developing bacterial infections in comparison to pads, as they do not come into direct contact with external genitalia.

However, like all menstrual care products, they do come with their own set of risks.

For example, improper insertion and removal can lead to pain and injury.

Additionally, leaving a tampon in for too long can increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition.

It is important for women to educate themselves on proper tampon use and to be vigilant about changing them frequently.

Women should also consider alternative menstrual care products such as pads, menstrual cups or period panties, depending on their preferences and comfort levels.

Ultimately, the decision to use tampons or any other menstrual care product is a personal one, and women should choose what works best for their lifestyle and overall health.


What is a tampon and how is it used?

A tampon is a feminine hygiene product that is designed to be inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood. It is used by women during their menstrual cycle as a convenient and discreet way to manage their periods, allowing them to be more active and go about their daily routine without interruption.

What are the benefits of using a tampon?

Tampons provide greater freedom of movement and allow for swimming and other sports activities. They are also more discreet than pads and can be worn with tighter clothing. Tampons also reduce the risk of odor and leakage associated with pads.

How often should I change my tampon?

It is recommended to change your tampon every 4-8 hours, depending on your flow. Leaving a tampon in for too long can increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but serious bacterial infection.

Can I use a tampon overnight?

Yes, tampons can be used overnight but it is important to choose the right absorbency level and change it at least every 8 hours to lower the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). It is also recommended to use pads at night as a backup, especially if you have heavy flow.

How long is it safe to leave a tampon in?

It is generally recommended to change tampons every four to eight hours to lower the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). Leaving a tampon in for longer than eight hours is not recommended.

Can I swim while wearing a tampon?

Yes, you can swim while wearing a tampon. In fact, tampons are designed to be worn during physical activities like swimming. Just be sure to change your tampon immediately after getting out of the water to prevent the risk of infection.

What size tampon should I use?

The size of tampon you should use depends on your menstrual flow. Light flow may require a smaller size tampon, while heavy flow may require a larger size. It is recommended to start with the smallest size tampon and then adjust according to your menstrual flow.

Can using a tampon cause health problems?

Using a tampon correctly and following proper hygiene practices is unlikely to cause any health problems. However, leaving a tampon in for too long can increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but serious bacterial infection. It is important to change tampons every four to eight hours and to alternate with pads as needed.

Do tampons hurt?

Tampons can actually be quite comfortable when used properly. If inserted correctly, you shouldn’t feel it at all. Some women may experience discomfort or even pain if the tampon is inserted incorrectly or left in for too long. It is important to remember to change your tampon every four to six hours to avoid any discomfort or potential health risks.

Are tampons more expensive than pads?

Tampons and pads can vary in price based on brand and quantity. Generally, tampons may be slightly more expensive than pads, but this can depend on various factors such as the absorbency level and material used in the product.

What is toxic shock syndrome and can using a tampon cause it?

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but serious bacterial infection that can affect anyone, but is commonly associated with tampon use. It is caused by the toxin produced by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. The symptoms may include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, and in severe cases, organ failure and shock. Although tampons increase the risk of acquiring TSS, practicing proper hygiene, changing tampons frequently, and alternating with pads can significantly reduce the risk.

Can I wear a tampon if I am a virgin?

Yes, a virgin can wear a tampon. The hymen is a thin membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening, and using a tampon does not necessarily mean it will break. However, if you experience discomfort or difficulty inserting a tampon, it is recommended to start with a smaller size or speak to a healthcare provider for guidance.

Can I use a tampon if I have a yeast infection?

It is not recommended to use tampons if you have a yeast infection as the cotton material can potentially worsen the symptoms and also increase the risk of introducing harmful bacteria into the vagina. It is better to use sanitary pads until the yeast infection resolves.

Can I use a tampon if I am pregnant or have recently given birth?

It is not recommended to use tampons if you are pregnant because they can introduce bacteria into the vagina and increase the risk of infection. In addition, if you have recently given birth, your doctor may advise against using tampons until your body heals and your menstrual cycle returns to normal.