Tampon Basics for Men
Hi again, thought I’d get back on track and wrap up the “basics” for the guys and today, I’d like to tackle the topic of tampons in a simplistic male-oriented fashion. Again used products won’t be displayed on here for your sanity and viewing pleasure, lol. The usual disclaimer applies to whatever pictures I may use here are completely by nature of “best fit” and I’m not recommending or suggesting the brand of product that may appear. A tampon is used to absorb menstrual flow right before it exits the body. Since every manufacturer uses different materials, simply put it, a tampon usually contains an absorbent material intended to absorb the flow and keep it in until the time of disposal. If you haven’t gotten the picture already, unlike pads which are worn on the underwear, a tampon is inserted into the vagina until it is withdrawn and disposed. Each manufacturer shapes their tampons differently to achieve various degrees of comfort and efficient absorbency, however, they can be simply described in the fashion of a cylinder or long bullet as shown in Figure 1.
The tampon on its own is comprised only in 2 parts, 1) the absorbent portion, and 2) the string. There are two primary methods of insertion and it is also based on the brand/type of the tampon that is used. Tampons are firstly divided into two types, one being an applicator tampon and the other being an non-applicator tampon. An applicator (cardboard/plastic) is usually 2 small tubes which “deposit” the tampon within the vagina allowing for most, easier insertion. To insert an applicator tampon, the entire tampon unit itself (as shown in Figure 2) is inserted half-way (or a comfortable depth) into the vagina.
When the upper half of the applicator is in the vagina, the bottom half of the applicator is pushed upwards (towards in the upper half) causing the tampon inside the applicator tube to be pushed in and “deposited” into the vagina. The applicator is now in a compressed form (tube-in-tube) and can be withdrawn since the tampon has been inserted. If the tampon is inserted properly, there should be no apparent awareness that something is inserted and it should not feel uncomfortable. The applicator can then be thrown away.
In the case of a non-applicator tampon, the tampon is taken out of its wrapping and then carefully inserted into the vagina using a finger (or two). Non-applicator tampons often generate a squeamish factor since a woman’s finger may come in contact with her menstrual fluid due to the proximity of the tampon/finger during insertion. However, with enough practice, one can easily insert an applicator-less tampon without explicit contact. Applicator-less tampons are also considered more environmentally friendly due to the lack of plastic/cardboard required for the applicator portion. They are also easier to carry due to the size (only the tampon portion) and the retail package is small. Figure 3 is typical non-applicator tampon.
Once the tampon is saturated, it must be withdrawn from the vagina and that is where the string comes into play. When the tampon is properly inserted, the only thing that hangs out from the body is the string. When pulled, the string withdraws the tampon from within the vagina. Tampons can be disposed of by way of garbage/sanitary bin or flushed down the toilet (majority of the APPLICATORS are non-flushable, only the tampon).
Being an internal form of protection, tampons become a gift for those who want to engage in water sports during menstruation. However, tampons are also associated with TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome). TSS is a rare, but potentially fatal illness which is caused by bacteria toxins. TSS does not only occur through tampon usage, however, is associated with tampon usage, especially when using higher absorbency than necessary. This is a key point for men purchasing tampons to ensure that the tampon absorbency is only what is necessary – unlike pads since you can use any absorbency without fatal-health risks. While tampons can be used overnight, many women tend often use tampons during the day and pads at night. Tampons should only be left in for a maximum of 8 hours to reduce the risk of TSS. Furthermore, tampons should only be used while menstruating, not for discharge and not for “just-in-case” scenarios. Personally, all of tampon-using female friends still keep a variety of tampons AND pads, because both forms of feminine hygiene products have their merits. For women with heavier flows or those who do not have the luxury of being able to change constantly, a tampon and pad can be worn at the same time to lengthen the amount of time required per change (since the saturated tampon will leak onto the pad).
Many tampons have special properties or features, brand dependent such as Tampax Compak’s where the applicator starts off in a collapsed form and can be extended into its full form and then inserted. The result is an applicator tampon in half the regular size, easy to carry in a purse/bag or even wallet. O.B. tampons come in a regular outer coating and also one that is made from silk, apparently to ease insertion issues. There are many variety of tampons, even within its own brands. The world of tampons is immensely large, who knew that just a simple menstrual product like this could have so many different properties and enhancements that draws girls with different needs to use them. The list goes on and since this is supposed to be “basics”, I’ll stop here. If there are any further questions or comments, feel free to email me or leave a comment here! If I can answer them, I will.. if not, I have plenty of girl-friends who I can ask for more information.
Posted on January 14, 2010, in Periodtastic and tagged Education, Educational, Feminine Hygiene, Health, Help, Interests, Men, Menstrual, Menstruating, Menstruation, Opinion, Periods, Tampon, Tampons, Thoughts, Women's Health. Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.