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Side effects of Tampons

By on January 21, 2010

Tampons are a popular choice of a large number of women these days. Women use tampons or sanitary pads depending on the heaviness of their menstrual flow. Many regard the use of tampons as non-messy and convenient unlike sanitary pads which cause a certain discomfort all the time.

While they vouch for the benefits of using these products, very few women are actually aware of the flip side of using tampons.

One of the biggest hazards involved in using tampons is the toxic shock syndrome or TSS. This is a rare but fatal bacterial infection affecting menstruating women. Research suggests that the use of certain high absorbency tampons and leaving tampons inside the vagina for long hours increase the risk of TSS in menstruating women considerably.

The prominent symptoms of TSS are dizziness, sudden high fever, vomiting, fainting or sun-burn like rash. To prevent infection menstruating women must make sure that they wash their hands thoroughly before inserting a tampon and further that they change the tampons every four to six hours, especially on days when the flow is heavy.

Tampons contain two components namely, rayon and dioxin, that are potentially harmful. The former is used for absorbency while the latter is used in bleaching. Dioxin is extremely harmful in ways more than one. It is highly carcinogenic, has a toxic effect on the immune as well as the on the reproductive system. It has also been linked to endometriosis. Napkins and pads too contain dioxin but that does not pose any threat, as they do not come in direct contact with the vagina like tampons do. For those who cannot stop using tampons it is advisable that they opt for those that are made from 100% cotton and are unbleached.

Other hazards associated with the use of tampons are yeast infections, roughage loss, prevention of the normal vaginal self-cleaning functions and chemical exposure. The menstrual blood is rich in nutrients; this along with the porous, moist and warm environment provided by the tampon acts as a favorable breeding ground for microbes such as bacteria and yeast.