It’s been more than 11 years since I stopped using tampons.
And I thought I’d share my nightmarish tampon experience with you.
While quitting tampons was necessary, it was also hard to let go.
And since I did, I have never looked back and have no regrets.
This post will discuss why I preferred tampons, why I stopped using them, and what I currently use for my period.
If you are too busy to read the post, pin the post to Pinterest for later.
Let’s dive in.
DISCLAIMER: This is my personal experience. It is not professional advice. And it is not intended to bash any brands. So brand names are not mentioned in this post.
Why I Preferred Tampons
1. Pads messed me up at the beginning
When I hit puberty, and all these things started happening to my body, the only period products I knew were sanitary pads.
And they were big, bulky, and would leak and stain my clothes even at high school.
Fortunately for me, as time passed, companies started making ultra-thin pads that do not leak unless completely soaked.
So that was a major lifesaver for me and my menstrual period.
Then one day, I watched a movie, and some girls talked about tampons for your period.
And I wondered how it worked.
But still, I never bought or tried one.
2. Using tampons made me feel like a big girl
Years after that movie, I got a job and bought my first box of tampons.
I read the instructions, inserted the tampon, and felt like a big girl.
My excitement was over the roof.
And I’d tell anyone that cared to listen that tampons are the best for menstruation.
I remember one of my friends asked if the tampon won’t go missing inside her body. Lol.
And I’d try to educate them about the comfort and whatever perks I believed about tampons.
But they won’t even dare to try one.
So I thought I was strong because I used tampons and understood how they worked, but my friends didn’t.
Now that I’m thinking about it, I feel like a teenager in a high school movie that thought she had arrived because she uses tampons.
I had no idea what was coming.
3. Tampons are convenient
The third reason I fell in love with tampons was their convenience.
I liked that I could wear tampons and any clothes I wanted.
Believe it or not, the form of a pad showed through my pants once, and some jerk commented about it.
It was one of those diaper-like pads that require very tight panties to stay put.
And still, the pad stuck its ugly head out in front.
So discovering tampons was a huge relief for me until it wasn’t.
But we’ll get into that shortly.
4. You can swim with tampons
Another perk about tampons is that you can swim with them inside of you.
So even if I don’t know how to swim, it’s good to know that your menstrual period cannot stop you from taking a dip in the pool.
Also, when you wear tampons, you really don’t have to worry about the smell of a blood-soaked pad.
Or the heavy blood gush – because everything stays inside.
And you’d know when it is time to change – at least for me – without counting the hours.
Why I Stopped Using Tampons
Ordinarily, most sanitary products, tampons included, should be changed every 4 to 6 hours.
But if you wear them for up to or more than 8 hours, then TSS (toxic shock syndrome) may set in, and that’s what happened to me.
Now, on the tampon box, it is written there that you may experience toxic shock syndrome.
And naturally, every woman’s body is different, so TSS does not happen to everyone who uses tampons.
And that’s what gave me the confidence to continue using them until…
Read more about Toxic Shock Syndrome From Mayo Clinic.
My Nightmarish experience before I stopped using tampons
On this fateful day, I think it was even the last day of my period, and I had just one tampon left.
So I inserted it and thought I was good for the whole day.
Then several hours later, I started experiencing some things.
It began as a mild headache.
Then it progressed into an unbearable migraine to the extent that I cried my eyes out.
It never occurred to me that it could be the feminine sanitary product inside me.
And then it clicked.
So I pulled myself with whatever strength I had left, sat on the toilet, and pulled the damn thing out.
It was a huge relief.
But the headaches didn’t stop immediately.
I had to take Tylenol, lots of water, and a good night’s sleep to feel better.
And that’s the last tampon that ever entered and came out of me.
So if I were at a tampon anonymous meeting, I’d say: I’ve been clean for almost 13 years. Lol.
So is it okay to not use tampons?
Of course, it is.
Many women wouldn’t touch a tampon for several reasons, and you can do it too.
Mine is because of my TSS experience.
Another reason I agree with and am guilty of (I still use disposable pads) is the amount of waste in our environment.
So some people prefer reusable and other kinds of sanitary products.
But if you are fine with using tampons, it’s okay.
Make sure to see your doctor if you have any questions or issues.
What do I use now since I stopped using tampons?
Since I stopped using tampons, I only use sanitary pads or towels, whichever term you are familiar with.
But I’m considering the Flex Cup.
I wonder how that would feel and how convenient inserting and taking it out would be.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
But for now, I’m used to and will stick to pads.
Another reason I’ve postponed using a menstrual cup is the thought of a foreign object in my area.
It brings back the whole tampon TSS nightmare.
Plus, my experience with using tampons also influenced my choice of birth control method.
I chose the Jadelle implant birth control and passed on the IUD family planning method.
Now tampons scare the life out of me.
I still think about my experience that night, which sends good bumps all over my body.
I thought I was going to die.
So I say no to tampons.
Moreover, other sanitary products can be used if tampons scare you.
Alternatives to using tampons
- Sanitary pads/towels
- Cloth menstrual pads
- Menstrual cups,
Why you should stop using tampons?
If tampons give you headaches and other TSS symptoms, you should speak with your doctor.
Is it weird to use pads instead of tampons?
It’s not weird to use pads instead of tampons.
The best sanitary hygiene product for you is the one you’re most comfortable with.
Don’t let anyone pressure you to tampons if you prefer pads.
Does wearing pads shorten your period?
I believe your period lasts the number of days it’s supposed to, whether you wear tampons, sanitary pads, or menstrual cups.
But some claim that pads shorten your period because they don’t restrict the blood flow, unlike tampons.
Conclusion On Why I Stopped Using Tampons For Menstruation
So that’s my story about why I quit using tampons, and I’ve been clean for about 13 years.
Have you ever experienced toxic shock syndrome?
Can you share your experience with us, so other women can gain from you?
Thanks for reading.
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