Our in-house gynecologist answers all of your questions!
We know you have a lot of questions about your bodies, and sometimes they’re super embarrassing to ask IRL. Fortunately, we have Dr. Pari Ghodsi, MD and FACOG board certified gynecologist here to answer all of them for you online – anonymously!
This week, Dr. Pari answered your questions on tampons! Read on!
Dear Dr. Pari,
I’m scared to use tampons because I’ve heard that they’re dangerous, and cause things like Toxic Shock Syndrome. Is it true that tampons are unsafe? If so, are there alternatives to pads that are safer? And what exactly IS toxic shock syndrome?
Tired of Pads
Dear Tired of Pads,
There is no reason to be afraid of tampons! You just need to know what they are and how to use them. Some tampons have a plastic or cardboard applicator tube that helps slide the tampon into your vagina. Some tampons do not have applicators and are inserted with just your fingers. (sometimes this takes practice). Both have a short string attached to the end of the tampon that hangs out of your vagina to help you pull it out when its time to remove it.
So when is that??!?! Tampons come in different sizes dependent on your flow. No matter the size i.e. super, regular or slim, you should change your tampon at least every 4–8 hours. Leaving a tampon in for a long time has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Toxic Shock Syndrome is a life threatening complication that is caused from a bacterial infection. It is a rare complication! A more common complication from a tampon is vaginal irritation, therefore, some girls benefit from using hypoallergenic or all natural tampons.
An alternative to pads and tampons is a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is a plastic or rubber cup that is inserted into the vagina and catches the menstrual blood. You remove and empty the cup every 8–12 hours. The most popular menstrual cup is the DivaCup http://divacup.com.
Another awesome benefit of the DivaCup is that it is reusable so it is a great alternative for all of you environmentally conscious girls!
So as you can see you have a couple of options. Hope this helps!
Follow Dr. Pari on Twitter @Pari_MD, and make sure to check out last’s week installment of Dr. Pari here.
If you have more questions about seeing the gynecologist (or any question you’re too embarrassed to ask IRL), tweet or DM them to @YSBnow or email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we promise to get them answered ASAP!