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Tampons...This won't be pretty.

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Last chance for anyone who accidentally came in here. This thread will be about tampons and it will not be pretty and I'll be venting a bit in this post.



Ok....so far this only applies to Australia to the best of my knowledge. Though this is not to say that it is not the situation in your country. I am only posting this to highlight it and bring it to your attention. I am still researching and gathering as much information as I can. I have not mentioned any names of companies but I assure you that I do speak the truth.



I bought a packet of tampons the other day. It's been really really hot and I thought I'd take up the offer of going swimming. I haven't bought a packet in a very long time, say nine years? So I did stand there for a while taking packet after packet of the shelves and reading them. All I got was promotional information, the only information I got which was somewhat useful was for what tampon was for what flow. So in the end, I gave up and bought a packet from the same company that I did nine years ago.

I get home, unwrap the packet and notice a leaflet in the packaging. It was a How to use <Company Name> tampons. I didn't read it because, well let's face it, I knew what I was doing. Then while waiting around for my fiancee to get ready, I read the leaflet and notice it's in small print. Anyway I get to the part of Toxic Shock Syndrome and marvel at how that this information wasn't around when I first bought tampons.

Still reading and being rather impressed, I suddenly felt shivers going down my spine and feeling very nauseous. And then VERY VERY angry. This is the line that I read.

Quote:
"Tampons are not sterile and neither are your hands or vagina."
And if that wasn't bad enough. Yes, it does get worse.

Quote:
"Tampons while containing very small amounts of bacteria normally present in air, have not been shown to carry the bacteria which cause TSS. [Toxic Shock Syndrome]."
Then I thought about it. Surely there has to be laws about tampons being sterile. After all, equipment used for pap smears have to be sterile. So I started to trawl the internet researching. And so far I haven't found any statement to say that tampons are sterile until they are unwrapped. I have sent e-mails off to all the companies that manufacture tampons in Australia. So far, I have had one reply to say that what I have read is correct for all tampons in Australia. I am still waiting for the remaining companies to reply.

I am currently going to try and scan the relevant part of the leaflet and post it to show that I am not spreading an internet urban myth or trying to start one. I only want to let others know.
post #2 of 29
hmmm that is interesting, I always assumed they were sterile until unwrapped because cotten balls and q-tips are sterile. I don't use them often because they give me horrible cramps (dont know why ) but that is something to think about!
post #3 of 29
That is interesting, I am not sure if that is true, but the next time I get tampons, I will look out for that info. I always use tampons, never pads, I hate pads.
post #4 of 29
there are an awful lot of things that make contact with that general area of a woman's body, which are not sterile, including..

1)Toilet paper (Most urinary tract infections are the result of the
uhm direction a woman uses to cleanse herself, post-elimination.)
2)Sanitary pads, which are often just packed in a cardboard
box, not even in plastic.
3)Various body eliminations
4)If you are sexually active, your partner in some form or another, unless he or she washes with bleach
5)Diaphragms (unless you wash them in bleach)
6)Sex toys unless washed with bleach.
7)Your underwear, which while clean, likely wont be sterile.

TSS is caused by a common bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus – which normally live harmlessly on the skin and in the nose, armpit, groin or vagina of one in every three people. In rare cases certain strains of these bacteria can produce toxins (poisons) that cause TSS.

Approximately half the cases of TSS reported today are associated with tampon use during menstruation, usually in young women. TSS also occurs in children, men, and non-menstruating women.The biggest issue with tampons seemed to be ones intended to be super-absorbent, so women would wear them longer. If I recall correctly, some time after the reports of toxic shock in the US, tampon manufacturers changed what they made, and suddenly the huge, super-absorbency ones weren't made anymore (or at least not the ones I used at the time.

There is some pretty comprehensive info on tampons and the diseases that have somehow become associated with them, whether true or not,
on the US Food & Drug Administration Webpage.

Tampons and Asbestos, Dioxin, & Toxic Shock Syndrome

I really don't think that you need to worry.Also keep in mind that manufacturers put extensive warnings on virtual everything these days as a potential liability defense.
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
The reason why I posted was that I assumed that tampons were sterile in the packaging. This appears to be not the case in Australia. That is what concerns me.

The customer is told to wash their hands and to handle the tampon as little as possible to minimise the risk of TSS. Shouldn't there be responsibility on the part of the manufacturer to produce a sterile product? Otherwise, it seems to me it leaves a minute possibility that a tampon can carry Staphylococcus aureus. This is what upsets me the most.

The sanitary pads that I buy come in a sealed plastic bag and are individually packed in sealed packages. I don't go near the ones in cardboard boxes.

As with the items mentioned, I do understand that they're not sterile. It doesn't cause me any concern because I am aware that they are not sterile. But given the reports of TSS, I thought that manufacturers would at least make sterile tampons.
post #6 of 29
I don't use them so i don't have to worry
post #7 of 29
I have not used tampons for years due in part to the TSS syndrome. I understand the view that pads are not sterile but as far as I know they are not actually inserted into the body! Also the fact that I am 'collecting' and keeping something inside me that in the natural play of things would flow out.........eeuk.
The bumf I remember reading was also not to handle the tampon more than actually necessary and had, obviously wrongly, assumed they were sterile.
I think all people, especially women, have a duty to keep themselves well informed about things they put into their bodies and make up their own minds up about the potential risks they take.
This may make a few more women question what manufacturers put on their leaflets.
post #8 of 29
Back in the day, I used tampons, exclusively. TSS was most commonly associated with super-absorbent synthetic tampons. There was one brand in particular that was associated with the most cases and it was pulled right away. I used a brand that was 100% surgical cotton.

My mother used tampons, exclusively, for over 30 years and never had a problem. There were relatively few cases of TSS, associated with tampon use but, they have to put that warning on them.

As for sterility, once you open the package, NOTHING is sterile. I haven't heard about any cases of tampon-associated TSS, in over 20 years and I keep up with women's health news.
post #9 of 29
The fact that tampons can cause TSS has been known for a long time and No they are not steril here in the US.

Think about, they ony way you could use them properly if they were steril would be in a steril free envirnoment because once you open the package the seal is broken and bacteria can get to it.

I have been using tampons for as long as I can remember and never had a problem.
post #10 of 29
I hate tampons, I will never use them, ever. I cant imagine walking around all day with something sitting 'up there'. That's just too gross in my opinion. I also have this fear that they will get stuck, the string will break etc. My friends mom once forgot she had one up there, put another one up there and eventually had to go to the hospital because she couldnt get them out

Always maxi pads are what I've used for years. With the dry weave you're dry all day. I just feel that tampons are very unnatural. Please dont get mad at me
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Sicycat
I hate tampons, I will never use them, ever. I cant imagine walking around all day with something sitting 'up there'. That's just too gross in my opinion. I also have this fear that they will get stuck, the string will break etc. My friends mom once forgot she had one up there, put another one up there and eventually had to go to the hospital because she couldnt get them out

Always maxi pads are what I've used for years. With the dry weave you're dry all day. I just feel that tampons are very unnatural. Please dont get mad at me
We probably won't have dudes popping into this thread anytime soon
Ditto, Sicy! ROTFLMAO! BTW...have you guys seen that "Maxi Pad Thong?" -- Good Lord...who wants to wear a thong during "That Time?" LOL!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeew!

post #12 of 29
LOL!!! Dont get me started on thongs That's another thing I hate and will never wear.. walkin around all day with crap up your butt is not my idea of comfortable!!! lmao Ok I'm leaving this thread now
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Sicycat
LOL!!! Dont get me started on thongs That's another thing I hate and will never wear.. walkin around all day with crap up your butt is not my idea of comfortable!!! lmao Ok I'm leaving this thread now
I just picked myself up off of the floor after reading this - ROTFLAMO
post #14 of 29
I guess I always just assumed tampons were sterile - I used the little individually wrapped o.b.s for quite awhile, because they seemed "cleaner". (I had a hysterectomy last year, and don't miss my period, and the cramps in particular, at all.) If I remember correctly, when TSS was a big issue there was a "revolutionary" kind of tampon on the market which was actually a small plastic cup that you could supposedly leave in all day. A lot of the TSS cases/deaths were associated with the use of that particular tampon. I also remember the other manufacturers reducing the size of and recommendations for their tampons. That was before the thin "Always ultra" type pads, so tampons were probably more popular then.
post #15 of 29
I was always under the impression that it was not a sterility issue, but rather an issue of how long one left a tampon "in". Oddly enough, I had to answer the tampon question with my 9 year old daughter not so long ago, and of course the follow on was the Kotex question, which, after having explained it, I received a very big "EWWWWWW why don't they just put us back in diapers".... out of the mouths of babes..
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Imagyne
I was always under the impression that it was not a sterility issue, but rather an issue of how long one left a tampon "in". Oddly enough, I had to answer the tampon question with my 9 year old daughter not so long ago, and of course the follow on was the Kotex question, which, after having explained it, I received a very big "EWWWWWW why don't they just put us back in diapers".... out of the mouths of babes..
ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!
post #17 of 29
LMAO Ken! That is funny!
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Imagyne
I was always under the impression that it was not a sterility issue, but rather an issue of how long one left a tampon "in". Oddly enough, I had to answer the tampon question with my 9 year old daughter not so long ago, and of course the follow on was the Kotex question, which, after having explained it, I received a very big "EWWWWWW why don't they just put us back in diapers".... out of the mouths of babes..
ROTFL!

TSS is closely more associated with tampons having a higher absorption, women leaving them in for long periods of time and cleanliness.

Though what bugs me is that the tampons are not sterile before unwrapping them. I've recevied two replies to my emails so far and both have said that no tampons in Australia are sterile. I guess I'd just rather if there was any bacteria on them, I'd rather it be because of me and not because of some unknown source.
post #19 of 29
I dont worry too much about TSS ... It is supposedly such a rare thing, you just have to watch out for the warning signs, and if you think that you have it, go to the ER or the walk-in clinics. Last month, though, I didnt use them because for the past 3 months I have used tampons, it always felt like I was getting a UTI .. either that or something was just irritating me.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Tigger
I dont worry too much about TSS ... It is supposedly such a rare thing, you just have to watch out for the warning signs, and if you think that you have it, go to the ER or the walk-in clinics. Last month, though, I didnt use them because for the past 3 months I have used tampons, it always felt like I was getting a UTI .. either that or something was just irritating me.
I used to use them all the time and then I started to get that feeling with them and now I can't use them any more. It makes me feel really cramping and like i'm getting a UTI
post #21 of 29
the sterile thing doesn't really bother me.. I me just from opening it and exposing it to the air it's not sterile anymore.. Of course I would hope that there's nothing yucky on it, but I mean that's a chance I guess, a very very slim one. You figure at restaurants the food isn't sterile and that goes in your system while the tampon just sorta sits in there indirectly getting into your system, so I'd be more worried about that..

I seriously cannot imagine a life without the tampons, they are the only good thing about my period lol. My mom is a tampon freak too so I never used a pad til I was about 19 and I ran out of tampons so my friend gave me a pad and it just didn't feel right and was yucky.. But I guess when you're used to something the alternative always sucks. The thing that sucks is changing it "on time" which usually involves setting my alarm clock early so I can get up to change it, but I don't think I could ever use anything but tampons so it's just something I have to live with.. I think they do worsen my cramps the first day or two but last time i saw the gyno she hooked with up with some pain pills so it's all good now..
post #22 of 29
I'm having issues all together, my "friend" has been visting for shorter and short, this month it was TWO days and then a tiny bit of spot and the last one I had was oct 4th I know I know, time to go to the doc...but i don't wanna!!!!
post #23 of 29
Some of you gals are too young to remember what MY contemporaries referred to as "2 X 4s" - those huge, bulky pads that made one feel like she was walking bowlegged. Along with those was the "sanitary belt", to hold the blasted things in place. No thank you!

From my first period, in 1970 until my last one, in 1990 tampons were my choice.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
Princess Purr: Shoo! Go see a doctor! If it was a kitty you'd take them to a vet. Now shoo! Off with you! Not another peep until you see one.

katl8e: This is going to make me sound so very naive or young or not very knowledgeable or all three, but what in heaven's name is a sanitary belt?

The 2x4's...lol...I thought that was a plank of wood.
post #25 of 29
ohhhh if I was a kitty I would have been to the vet SOOO many times already Between my tummy and other problems
post #26 of 29
I have a Depo injection every 11 weeks so I don't have to worry about tampons anymore.... I always used them before tho'
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by katl8e
Some of you gals are too young to remember what MY contemporaries referred to as "2 X 4s" - those huge, bulky pads that made one feel like she was walking bowlegged. Along with those was the "sanitary belt", to hold the blasted things in place. No thank you!

From my first period, in 1970 until my last one, in 1990 tampons were my choice.
Cindy, I remember them! That's why I said tampons were probably even more popular back then, before the ultra thin pads. Do you remember the clumsy cardboard applicators, though?
post #28 of 29
Quote:
[i]
katl8e: This is going to make me sound so very naive or young or not very knowledgeable or all three, but what in heaven's name is a sanitary belt?

The 2x4's...lol...I thought that was a plank of wood. [/b]
Pads didn't have stickum, until the late 70s. A sanitary belt was an elastic band, worn around the waist, with a clip front and back. The pads had a "tail" fore and aft, that threaded through these clips. What a pain in the @$$! The only time that I ever used them was postpartum.
post #29 of 29
I remember my moms old school pads omg they were the worst Nowadays they're great, thin, with wings, and super absorbant, I dont even feel like I'm wearing anything at all.
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