The Disadvantages of Tampons

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Menstruation is a natural part of becoming a woman, but dealing with this monthly chore can become cumbersome quickly. While using pads or tampons is a personal choice, tampons allow more freedom for activity, including swimming and playing sports. Women who use tampons also do not have to worry about clothing choices. While tampons are convenient, they do pose some risks.

Inconvenient Insertion

When you first start using tampons, inserting them comfortably can be difficult. It's important to relax while inserting and to read the included directions so you know when it is properly inserted. While insertion can be uncomfortable at first, it is critical to remember that wearing a tampon should never be painful; if it is, remove the tampon immediately and try again at a later time.

Risk of Leakage

Tampons provide many advantages over pads, but with a pad you can check regularly to make sure you are not experiencing any leaking menstrual fluid. Wear the correct absorbency strength for your flow to avoid over-soaking your tampon, which can lead to staining clothing as well as a potentially embarrassing situation. If you feel like your tampon is becoming over-absorbed, change it immediately to avoid this issue.


Tampons contain small amounts of pesticides and chlorine that are used to bleach and sterilize the cotton. While this is normally not an issue, it can cause can inflammation and irritation of the genital area for some women with very sensitive skin. If you experience this, discontinue use of the particular brand of tampon immediately. Consider trying another brand, as different chemicals and levels of chlorine are used by various companies.

Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is one of the most serious disadvantages of tampon usage, and if left untreated can lead to severe illness. Symptoms include very high fever, dizziness, vomiting, muscle aches, drops in blood pressure, a sunburn-like rash and, in severe cases, kidney or liver failure. TSS occurs when you are using a tampon that is too high of absorbency for your flow or you have left a tampon in for too long of a time. To remedy this, only use the correct absorbency and change your tampon approximately every four hours.