Teens and Tampons: A No-Nonsense Guide for a Confused Mom (Or Dad)

Why should unknown ingredients matter to you? Because you insert tampons into your vagina, which is highly absorbent. In fact, it is up to 80 times more absorbent than a product or chemical taken orally.

While the commercials would have you believe that once a month women experience sheer delight in brunching with friends while their bodies release blue liquid, we post-adolescent, pre-menopausal folks know that menstruation is actually kind of a pain.

Menstruation may be a beautiful manifestation that a woman is prime for childbearing, but it is not always a comfortable cheerful experience.

There's no blue liquid involved, either.

Your daughter will likely cope better with her menstrual period if she learns about it (pssst … this is where you come in). Your teen has started their period (or is about to), and not only is it time to talk about what to expect, but you also have to give them options when it comes to period products.

We seem to have gone full circle, from rags made into cloth pads in our grandparents’ day, to disposable pads and tampons that revolutionized the 60’s and 70’s, and now back to modern re-usable menstrual products.

Many teens start out using pads but might want to use tampons when they do sports or go swimming. Most often, the girl will want to talk to her mom or another woman she trusts when she is trying to decide which is right for her.

Indeed, it is important to tell your teen that when deciding whether to use pads or tampons, it's really up to her. Some girls like tampons because they can go swimming with no problem, and they are easy to store in a purse or pocket.

Another advantage to tampons is that many say they can't be felt because they're inside the body. A pad may feel bulky to some girls.

And this is where we come in. We are greatly concerned with women’s health and, once and for all, we never spread any information that we have no medical proof of. We don’t think you can put a “healthy” label on something that gives the slight chance of getting TSS (toxic shock syndrome).

If your daughter is feeling ambivalent about the whole tampons versus pads debate, then read on — because these menstrual hygiene products are not so safe as their commercials might be telling.

While they are always giving you the pros, it is our responsibility to remind you and your teen girl the cons that often stay somewhere between the lines.

Uncomfortable insertion

This is of particular concern if you're using a tampon applicator. The vagina is a delicate area of the body with sensitive internal tissue, and the idea of inserting foreign matter up there can be a tricky one — particularly if you don't have much practice.

Sometimes insertion can be painful, and if you put the tampon in at the wrong angle, the resulting pressure might drive you crazy. An extension of this is discomfort – physically or just psychologically – at having something inside you for stretches of time each month.

Pads are placed over your underwear and catch the menstrual flow once it leaves the body.

Pads are excellent for people who just don't want to bother with painful insertion, potentially difficult removal, or the other physical problems of tampon use. Genial Day eco-certified pads are also clinically tested for bio-compatibility, so they won't cause irritation.

A warm welcome to bacteria

Even if you don’t leave a tampon in for an extended period of time, they can harbor bacteria. Tampons can cause tiny tears in your sensitive tissue, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.

Small fibers from the tampons can also break off when you pull out a tampon, which can remain within your body and promote bacteria growth. That bacteria growth can lead to TSS , a life-threatening condition caused by staph or strep bacteria.

TSS is essentially a staph infection and seems to occur most commonly when "super absorbent" tampons are used.

We're not entirely sure why — perhaps the absorbency encourages the bacteria to collect around the tampon.

Unlike tampons, pads aren't associated with toxic shock syndrome at all. Genial Day Eco-certified pads were designed with the new anion strip technology with silver and tourmaline – it allows for fragrance-free odor control which also eliminates toxic chemicals.

Like a sponge

Why should unknown ingredients matter to you? Because you insert tampons into your vagina, which is highly absorbent. In fact, it is up to 80 times more absorbent than a product or chemical taken orally. Your vagina will quickly absorb chemicals and substances placed inside your body directly to your bloodstream.

Kind of a terrifying thing if it makes you forget about your tampon altogether. The discreet nature of tampons means that you're more likely to lose track of how long they've been inside of you. In turn, this can lead to both accidental leakage and TSS. Not fun.

Chances that you can forget a pad, which is there between your legs, are really low. Many girls who use pads say they use them because they also feel the flow, and that makes them feel prepared for anything that comes their way.

Genial Day ECO-certified pads with Anion Strip also have an air-laid cotton layer and nontoxic, biodegradable material made in Japan for superior absorbency, and a “Stay dry” cover sheet: never feel wet again!

Environmentally unfriendly

The cotton in tampons commonly contains pesticides left over after harvesting, some of which are probable human carcinogens. Worst of all, more than 90% of US cotton can contain genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), so chances are your tampons do too!

The cotton in tampons undergoes a chlorine bleaching process that is used to whiten and disinfect. The chlorine leaves behind numerous chemicals such as dioxin, which is a carcinogen that is linked to abnormal tissue growth and disruption to your immune and endocrine systems. Excess chlorine also leaks into oceans and kills aquatic and wildlife.

Genial Day ECO-certified sanitary products have pH friendly to skin, are toxin-free, fragrance-free, and non-chlorine bleached.

Risk for UTI

Tampons need to be changed every 4 to 6 hours in order to prevent bacteria from building up. If you like to sleep in or sleep for more than 6 hours each night it is probably best to wear a pad to bed. This way you will not have to disrupt your sleep to change your tampon.

Tampons left in overnight are a bad and potentially infectious idea. If you wait too long to change your tampon or forget to change your bloody underwear for a clean pair, you'll put yourself at risk for developing a UTI, a rash, or a vaginal infection.

There is some evidence that women who use tampons may have an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTI). Irritation or injury to the vagina or urethra caused by sexual intercourse, douching, tampons, or feminine deodorants can give the UTI-causing bacteria a chance to invade.

Genial Day ECO-certified pads with Anion Strip have leakage control channels, and 3D side walls to prevent unpleasant accidents. They are also lightweight and breathable to keep you feeling super comfortable.

We also offer ECO-Certified Extra Heavy Overnight/Postpartum Pads with Anion Strip and ECO-certified Heavy Flow Pads with Anion Strip for girls with heavy flow (which is a pretty common thing among teenagers whose period has just started).

The choice to use tampons, pads, or a combination of both is a pretty personal one. Are you comfortable inserting something inside yourself, or would you rather let the blood collect into a pad?

Pads are excellent for people who just don't want to bother with painful insertion, potentially difficult removal, or the other physical problems of tampon use. Other girls like pads because they're easy to use, and it's easier to remember when to change them, since you can see them getting soaked with blood.

And no, pads do not "smell" so much that your crush can automatically tell you're bleeding. Especially Genial Day ECO-certified pads and liners with anion strip that contains tourmaline - they just block the spread of bacteria and neutralize the odor.

Some girls also argue against using pads by saying that they are “bulky”. Well, this is not a thing one could say about Genial Day Eco-certified pads! Indeed, we have gone a long way in the evolution of feminine sanitary products from homemade menstrual rags or reusable sanitary diapers.

Our Eco-certified pads have breathable back layer to eliminate heat and humidity, leakage control channels, and 3D side walls to prevent unpleasant accidents. To stabilize the pad, they also have 2 wings and food grade adhesive strips that keep them in place.

Finally, to those teens who are self-conscious that their pad will be visible, we should say that the possibility of a pad line showing through your pants shouldn't be an issue — because you shouldn't have to feel ashamed of your period. But if this is still an issue for you – and we can fully understand the extra sensitiveness of this gentle age! – there is still a solution. Genial Day offers a range of patented, organic cotton, SILVERPLUS finish period panties.

Concerned about your health and safety, but still want to feel comfortable and fresh? Genial Day Eco-certified pads were designed with YOU in mind! They are the healthiest, safest, most absorbent, comfortable and eco-friendly pads out there!

About Genial Day

Join more than 1,000,000 women around the world who have chosen GENIAL DAY®. Leave behind embarrassing rashes, annoying skin irritations, and all other unpleasant sensations together with your old menstrual pad brand. Experience more harmonious flow with patented, toxin-free, heavy metal-free, and chlorine-free personal care products. All our products are tested and approved by Oeko-Tex® 100 and VEGAN certified. Pads and liners are dermatologically tested and certified by Made for Health®, indicating no skin irritation. Our products are never tested on animals and are Leaping Bunny and Vegetarian society approved. Detox your period today and don't forget to check out our super-soft, organic underwear.