A girl’s first menstrual begins somewhere between the age of 12 to 14 years. At this point of time, your teen may come up to you with a several questions, whether they should use pads or are tampons safe for them to use or not. However, most of the girls prefer pads when they get their first menstrual, but some of them do go for tampons as well. It’s completely your choice depending upon your comfort level. Though, not all of us can use pads and especially those who are active in sports and other activities like swimming and this is where tampons come into the picture. But two things that should be kept in mind before letting your girl use tampons is, if she is ok to use tampons and secondly if she is responsible enough to use them safely. Let’s take a deeper look at the picture.
Tampons for Tweens: Things You Need to Know
How tampons work?
Just like pads, tampons are used to provide protection to the girls and women at the time of their menstrual. These are made of soft cotton like material and are cylindrical shaped. There is a string attached to the bottom of the tampon that helps in removing it at the time of replacement. The walls of the vagina further help the tampon to stay in place.
One thing to be kept in mind is that tampons should be replaced every few hours. Those with a heavy flow should replace their tampons every two to four hours and others should remove their tampons in at least every five hours. You can get different types of tampons from the market and that too of different sizes.
You make like to offer your daughter to follow a few tips for using tampons. These are as follows:
- You should start to use the tampon for the first time, when the menstrual flow is the heaviest. This will make it a lot easier for your daughter.
- You should recommend your daughter to start with ‘slender’ or ‘regular’ tampons, i.e. the small tampons.
- You can make sure that the tampon is inserted well when it is not felt and more importantly when it doesn’t hurt.
Apart from this, many girls avoid its use because of the myths linked with using tampons. Most pof the times I have heard people saying that tampons may affect a girl’s virginity. Well, tampons may stretch the hymen but it surely does not affect or change the virginity status. The second most commonly said thing about tampons is that the tampon may eventually get lost inside the body, which is not at all true and impossible.
How to use tampons
Remember, your girl may be a little afraid at first and that is absolutely normal. she may take her own time and you have to reassure her that tampons do not hurt if inserted properly. You may take help of the information provided on the packages, which may help her to understand it’s use in a better way. Moreover, it’s imperatively important for you to tell your daughter of the little things about using tampons. Make them understand that they should wash their hands with soap before and after inserting a tampon. You may offer her with a small mirror which will help her to insert in the first few days.
Although rare, Toxic Shock Syndrome is a serious disease that has been associated with using tampons. You should make your girl aware of the disease and its possibility. There were number of cases of TSS in the late 1980s in women who used highly absorbent vaginal tampons. Certain types of tampons were then pulled off the market which significantly led to a decline in the cases of TSS. You should make them learn to minimise the possibility of TSS by making them aware of the symptoms and by using tampons safely. Diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, low blood pressure, a sunburn like rash, confusion and muscle aches are some of the symptoms associated with TSS. Ask them to replace the tampon frequently and more importantly, the importance of practicing good hygiene.
Are tampons safe for your teen?
Yes, tampons are completely safe for your teen as long as you follow a few rules:
- Replace the tampons every four to five hours.
- Insert a fresh tampon before going to bed and then, after waking up and even before.
- Use a pad overnight
- Go for as lowest absorbency tampons as possible.
Considering the above information, using tampons instead of pads is completely fine as long as you take good care of your hygiene. A lot of girls are afraid of using them and it’s OK if your girl is one of them. You should leave it as her choice and let her decide when she finally wants to use them.