Research studies show up to 85 percent of menstruating women use tampons. However, very little research has been done to substantiate, or prove, their safety.
What could be so dangerous about a tampon?
As noted by Alexandra Scranton, Women's Voices for the Earth Director of Science and Research, tampons "are not just your average cosmetics because they are used on an exceptionally sensitive and absorbent part of a woman's body."
Unfortunately, most tampons are far from pure, and when the chemicals come in contact with your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind.
Tampon use is potentially even more problematic than a chemical coming in contact with your external skin, as they are used internally, which dramatically increases the absorption of toxic chemicals.
Plus, tampons are left in place for hours at a time, for several days each month, adding quite a bit of cumulative exposure time.
If you also use other feminine care products such as, feminine wipes, washes, douche, or deodorant, for instance – be aware that your level of chemical exposure rises even more.
Tampon Use and Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
Tampons can create a favorable environment for bacteria growth. Micro tears in your vaginal wall from tampons may allow bacteria to enter and accumulate. One recognized risk from tampon use is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which may be caused by poisonous toxins from either Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. TSS can be a life-threatening condition, so it's important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Should any of the following symptoms arise while using tampons during your period, make sure you seek medical help:
Sudden high fever, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Low blood pressure,Seizures, Rash on palms or
soles of feet, Muscle aches,Redness of your eyes, mouth, and/or throat.
We understand women will do better once they are educated. However, for those who will continue to use tampons to minimize your risk of this potentially life-threatening condition:
Avoid super absorbent tampons – choose the lowest absorbency rate to handle your flow.
Never leave a tampon inserted overnight; use overnight pads instead.
When inserting a tampon, be extremely careful not to scratch your vaginal lining (avoid plastic applicators)
Change tampons at least every 2-4 hours. We urge you not use a tampon between periods.
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