Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Hygiene is something that concerns everyone. However, women have an extra aspect to worry about: menstruation. This natural process of the body, which everyone experiences, requires care with special products, such as tampons.

There is a wide variety of products to manage menstruation, such as menstrual cups, pads and tampons. However, some of these products are more convenient and efficient than others. Many want to be barely noticeable, even when they are on those days of the month. The invisibility that some long for is provided by the tampon, an object that provides great freedom of movement and is easy to use.

It is very common that, if it is your first time buying tampons, you don't really know how to choose them or where to start. If this is your case, then you don't have to worry too much, because through this article we will teach you everything you need to know about female tampons, so that you can buy the ideal one for you.




Summary

  • Tampons are basically a feminine hygiene product, made of cotton, elongated, which is inserted into the vulva to trap the blood that comes during the menstrual period, allowing free movement and a lot of discretion.
  • Within the current market there are many varieties of tampons, which you should pay attention to so that you can choose the one that best suits you. There are two in particular that you should be aware of. On the one hand there are the regular ones, which are usually for everyday, more general use. On the other hand, there are the slender ones, which are thinner and perfect for a first use.
  • Before you determine which model of tampon is right for you, it is a good idea to take into account certain factors that will allow you to make comparisons between one model and another. Criteria such as moisture retention, type of use, applicator and material are important.

The Best Tampon: Our Picks

Buying Guide: What you need to know about Tampons

After learning about the best tampon models, you may already have a clearer idea of what you need and can buy. However, before you make your final choice and purchase tampons, it is good to know some of the most important terms and features related to this product. This will give you more security.

The right tampon should not cause discomfort, but give you the freedom to go about your activities without fear of accidents. (Photo: Daniel Jedzura / 123rf.com)

What are tampons and what are their advantages?

A tampon is, in short, a feminine hygiene product, with an elongated shape, similar to a small tube, with a high absorption capacity and a soft texture. It is designed to control menstruation, avoiding accidents. It is carefully inserted into the woman's vagina, and it "plugs" the blood flow.

One of its many advantages is its safety, as it completely covers the entrance to the vulva, making it very unlikely that blood will leak out anywhere. In addition to this, it is not noticeable, as it occupies an internal position. This makes it more comfortable to go out and do physical activities, including swimming.

While this product may seem perfect, like any other product on the market, it has advantages and disadvantages that you should pay attention to. We are not saying this because it is faulty, but so that you are aware of all the features that surround it and can be certain of what you are buying when making your final decision.

Advantages
  • They are very safe and with them it will be almost impossible to have an accident
  • They are inexpensive
  • They are not noticeable when inserted, allowing freedom of movement
Disadvantages
  • They can be uncomfortable to insert, especially in girls without sexual experience
  • Getting used to wearing them can make you forget about them
  • If they are not changed when necessary, they can cause serious infections.

Regular or slender tampons - what should you look out for?

One thing to keep in mind when buying your tampon is that every body is different and the right tampon for you will not always be the one that most people use. Because it is a very intimate product (especially in the way it is applied) you should aim to make it as comfortable as possible for you.

There are several sizes of tampons on the market, and if you are a first-time buyer you may be a little confused as you will not be sure which one to choose. There are two models in particular that you should look out for your first time: regular tampons and slender tampons.

Regular tampons

This type of tampon is the smallest on a general scale. They are usually designed for women who start with this product at the beginning of menstruation. They measure between 8 cm and 10 cm, which is a size that, on a general scale, is easy to apply.

They are smaller in thickness than subsequent sizes, so they are often recommended for the first few times they are used. However, some women find their size too large and feel a high level of discomfort, especially when there is no previous sexual experience to make the sensation more comfortable or familiar.

Slender or mini tampons

These tampons are intended for those who do not feel comfortable using regular tampons. They are thinner and smaller in length, which makes them easier to insert, without excessive discomfort when inserted into the vulva. They measure between 6 cm and 8 cm.

They are ideal for women who have never used a tampon or had a sexual experience (their own or someone else's) that involves inserting something into the vulva. As it is a sensation that some may even feel invasive, it is advisable to start with the small sizes, even though they absorb less than the regular ones.

Regular tampons Slender or mini tampons
Sizes 8 cm to 10 cm 6 cm to 8 cm
Absorption Medium Low
Recommended use Women familiar with similar processes First time, no previous experience
Price Affordable Slightly more expensive than regular tampons

Purchasing Criteria

Before you choose the final model and make the purchase, it is good that you know certain characteristics and details that will help you to establish comparisons between various options, so that you can choose the one that is most suitable for your needs, and that generates the comfort you want.

Moisture retention

One of the big differences between tampons is the moisture retention capacity. This refers to the amount of blood it can hold without an accident occurring. Every menstruation is different, which is why it is so important that you know your menstrual period, so you can get the right tampon for you.

  • Lites: These are the lowest capacity and tend to be the smallest, often referred to as slenders or mini. They are ideal for the first period or the first time using tampons, especially if you are not used to inserting anything in your vulva. They hold up to 6 grams in absorption weight.
  • Regular: These are the standard capacity, recommended for those with moderate blood flow. They are larger and more resistant than the Lites, as these are more for getting used to the sensation. They hold between 6 and 9 grams of weight in absorption.
  • Super: Super-strength tampons are for moderate to heavy flow. The first days of menstruation are usually with this type of flow or even higher, so they are recommended for the first days. They hold 9 to 12 grams in absorption weight.
  • Superplus: Superplus tampons are the most resistant of all, and also the largest, as they need more material to support more blood. They are recommended for periods where the blood comes very abundant at the beginning. They can hold 12 to 15 grams of weight in absorption.

It's not that the biggest tampon is the safest. We recommend finding the right size and retention for you. (Photo: Pablo Hidalgo/ 123rf.com)

Applicator

Tampons have an applicator in their design, which facilitates the task of placing the tampon inside the vulva, trying to make the process as fast and comfortable as possible. Because of this, there are different varieties of applicators, and you should know each one so that you can choose the one that suits you best.

Plastic applicator

These are the most commercially available and comfortable, according to the general opinion of women. Most affordable tampons use this applicator. It makes it easier to insert, but more wasteful. Hygienic, low risk.

Cardboard applicator

The cheapest of all applicators. They are easy to insert and are usually found in vending machines in some public toilets. They are very cheap, although not as hygienic as the plastic ones. It is advisable to use them only in emergencies.

Extendable applicator

They are also made of plastic, which makes them safer and more hygienic. However, the advantage of this applicator is the discreet design. It allows you to feel comfortable and free. They are quick to apply, as you only need to push the outer tip to insert. They are perfect for outings, as they are quick to change.

Digital tampon

These are the most environmentally friendly, as they don't have an applicator and are inserted with your finger. They do not generate as much waste as the others. They are also very discreet, making it easier for you to move them around. They are ideal for everyday use, although if you don't have the dexterity, it can be difficult to change them on the street.

Material

There are two varieties of tampon material. Before choosing the one that's best for you, it's good to know the advantages and disadvantages of both.

  • Common tampons: These are the most commonly marketed, low cost, so they are affordable for everyone. They have materials such as cotton, but also plastic and other synthetic products that take a long time to decompose, so they pollute.
  • Organic tampons: This is the friendly version of tampons. They are made from natural materials, usually organic cotton. In addition to being a natural waste, which decomposes relatively quickly, they also reduce the risk of infection, as they do not use manufactured or chemical means.

Type of use

Depending on how you are going to use the tampons, it is good to buy particular types, as there are activities that can be done with tampons, but there are usually special lines of tampons for this purpose.

Tampons for daily use

If you're going to use tampons for your daily routine, whether it's working, studying or going for a walk, then regular tampons will work for you, regardless of how much moisture they hold or what size they are.

Tampons for sports use

If you use tampons for any sporting activity, including swimming, there are special tampon lines, often called "sport" or "active". They are usually more flexible and completely prevent any leakage. They are also excellent if your work is very busy.

(Featured image photo: Yulia Grogoyeva/ 123rf.com)

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