Embarrassing confession time! When I was younger, I was really scared of tampons. I read a lot of teen girl magazines (like Seventeen and CosmoGirl), and for some reason, those mags loved publishing horrifying tampon stories about girls who died from TSS or people who forgot they left a tampon inside of themselves. I read these stories and thought about sticking a foreign object in my down-there area, and I wanted to cry.
Needless to say, it took me a long time to be able to actually use tampons. But once I started using them, I couldn’t help wondering what took me so long. Now, tampons are one of my favorite inventions ever! I know they’re not for everyone, but for me, tampons make my period more manageable, and make me feel so much more comfortable. They’re great!
But I realize that not everyone feels this way. In fact, tampons often get a bad rep. There are a lot of crazy myths floating around out there about tampons, and I know they used to freak me out, so I’m sure they freak some of you out as well. Here are 10 myths you’ve heard about tampons that definitely aren’t true:
Myth: Using Tampons Means You're Not A VirginNo. For some reason, there is this misconception that women only use tampons after they've been having sex. That's not true at all. Tampons and penises aren't the same thing. Inserting a tampon doesn't mean you're losing your virginity either, even if your hymen breaks (which would be pretty rare). Source; ShutterStock
Myth: You Can't Wear Tampons If You're A VirginAgain, tampons have nothing to do with your virginity. Some girls believe that if you haven't had intercourse yet, you'll be too tight down there for a tampon. That's not true. Tampons are much smaller than the average penis. They are easier to insert and you don't need to be "loose" down there to do so. Source: Nancy Bauer /ShutterStock
Myth: You Can't Wear Tampons OvernightA lot of people believe that because of the risk of TSS, it's not safe to wear tampons while you're sleeping. Not true! It's considered safe to wear a tampon for up to 8 hours, although it's recommended to change them every 4 to 8 hours. If you're going to wear a tampon to sleep, your best bet is to wear a low-absorbency tampon. If you think you'll be sleeping for more than 8 hours, don't do it, but anything up to 8 is fine. Honestly, though, if your flow is heavier, you may be better off with a pad - but if your period is light, a light or regular tampon is fine overnight. Source: ShutterStock
Myth: Tampons Are Dangerous To Your HealthThere is a lot of whispering out there about how tampons can be dangerous to your health because of how they're made. Many tampons are made with synthetic fibers and chemicals like dioxins. Are these dangerous to your health? The truth is, researchers don't know. There is no evidence that they are, but there's some info that isn't known about them. For now, researchers and doctors say they believe tampons are safe. Source: ShutterStock
Myth: You Can Feel Them Once They're InBefore you start using tampons, you might be worried that you can feel them inside of you once you insert them. Not true! If a tampon is inserted properly, you should not feel it down there at all. If you do feel it, that means it's not in correctly or it wasn't pushed in enough. In general, when a tampon is the right size and was put in correctly, you won't feel a thing. Source: ShutterStock
Myth: It's Easy To Get TSSThe risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome, which is a sometimes fatal infection that occurs when your tampon is left in too long) is certainly real. It's not something you should never think about. But it's also not something that happens often. TSS is very rare, only occurring in about 113 people annually in the United States. As long as you change your tampons regularly, every 4-8 hours, you should be fine. I know many girls are scared off by tampons because of TSS horror stories, but I promise - as long as you're careful, you won't be infected. Source: ShutterStock
Myth: Tampons Can Be Pushed Too Far InThere is this fear in some girls that you can push a tampon too far up your vag and it can get stuck up there. Nope, not possible. Your cervix, which is the opening at the end of your vagina, is much too small to allow a tampon to pass through it. It will stay just where you put it. Source: ShutterStock
Myth: You Can't Wear Tampons In The WaterDefinitely not true! Actually, one of the best things about tampons is that they allow you to comfortably wear bathing suits and go swimming. Tampons won't inflate in the water and float out of your body. I recommend changing your tampon after you swim, especially if your flow is heavy, but otherwise you're fine. Source: ShutterStock
Myth: Tampons Can Get Lost In Your BodyYour vaginal area isn't an endless pit that leads to the rest of your body. In other words, your tampon can't get lost inside of you. Like we already said, your cervix is too small to let a tampon get through it. Your vaginal walls are also there, holding your tampon into place. You're good! Source: ShutterStock
Myth: Tampons Can Cause CancerDon't worry, girls - this isn't true. It has been researched, and science has stated that tampons don't cause cancer. There are no chemicals or ingredients in cancer that are making you bleed more and putting you at risk. Science says tampons are safe. Source: ShutterStock
Have you ever heard of these tampon myths? Which do you disagree on? What did I forget to include? Tell me in the comments.