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Encyclopedia > Tampon
A tampon with applicator
A tampon with applicator
The elements of a tampon with applicator. Left: the bigger tube ("penetrator"). Center: cotton tampon with attached string. Right: the narrower tube.
The elements of a tampon with applicator. Left: the bigger tube ("penetrator"). Center: cotton tampon with attached string. Right: the narrower tube.
Digital tampon (tampon sold without applicator). (The ruler shown is in cm)
Digital tampon (tampon sold without applicator). (The ruler shown is in cm)

A tampon is a plug of cotton or other absorbent material inserted into a body cavity or wound to absorb bodily fluid. The most common type in daily use (and the topic of the remainder of this article) is a usually disposable plug that is designed to be inserted into the vagina during menstruation to absorb the flow of blood. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates tampons as medical devices. Le Tampon is the fourth-largest commune in the French overseas département of Réunion. ... Download high resolution version (1704x552, 78 KB) A tampon with applicator. ... Download high resolution version (1704x552, 78 KB) A tampon with applicator. ... Download high resolution version (1628x788, 95 KB) The elements of a tampon with applicator. ... Download high resolution version (1628x788, 95 KB) The elements of a tampon with applicator. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... This article is about the unit of length. ... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Picture of Human body cavities - dorsal body cavity to the left and ventral body cavity to the right. ... Superficial bullet wounds In medicine, a wound is a type of physical trauma wherein the skin is torn, cut or punctured (an open wound), or where blunt force trauma causes a contusion (a closed wound). ... The vagina, (from Latin, literally sheath or scabbard ) is the tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. ... See also Mensuration, a term sometimes used to describe Measurement, particularly in the context of forestry. ... For other uses, see Blood (disambiguation). ... FDA redirects here. ...

Contents

History

As a medical device, the tampon, (from the French for plug, or stopper[1]) has been around since the 19th century, when antiseptic cotton tampons treated with salicylates were used to stop the bleeding from bullet wounds[2], and there have been reports of modern menstrual tampons being used for the same purpose by soldiers in the Iraq War[3]. An antiseptic solution of Povidone-iodine applied to an abrasion Antiseptics (Greek αντί, against, and σηπτικός, putrefactive) are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction. ... Salicylic acid (from the Latin word for the willow tree, Salix, from whose bark it can be obtained) is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) with the formula C6H4(OH)CO2H, where the OH group is adjacent to the carboxyl group. ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...


The tampon with an applicator and string was invented in 1929 and submitted for patent in 1931 by Dr. Earle Haas, an American man from Denver, Colorado. Tampons based on Dr. Haas' design were first sold in the U.S. in 1936 by Tampax. Later, the expansible tampon was invented in 1974 (patent in 1976) by world-renowned OB/GYN, Dr. Kermit E Krantz. Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1931 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: Location of Denver in the State of Colorado Location of Colorado in the United States Coordinates: , Country United States State State of Colorado City and County Denver[1] Founded 1858-11-22, as Denver City, K.T.[2] Incorporated 1861-11-07, as Denver City, C.T.[3] Consolidated... Year 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1974 (MCMLXXIV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the 1974 Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Obstetrics and Gynaecology (often abbreviated to OB/GYN or O&G) are the two surgical specialties dealing with the female reproductive organs, and as such are often combined to form a single medical speciality and postgraduate training program. ... Often considered a forefather of modern Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Kermit Edward Krantz, M.D., Litt. ...


Design and packaging

Tampons come in various sizes, which are related to their absorbency ratings and packaging.


The shape of all tampons is basically the same; long rounded cylinders. Tampons sold in the United States are made of cotton, rayon, or a blend of the two. Tampons are sold individually wrapped to keep them clean, although they are not sterile, nor are tampon companies required by law to list the ingredients in them. They have a string for ease of removal, and may be packaged inside an applicator to aid insertion. For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulosic fiber. ... Sterilization (or sterilisation) refers to any process that effectively kills or eliminates transmissible agents (such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and prions) from a surface, equipment, foods, medications, or biological culture medium. ...


Tampon applicators may be made of plastic or cardboard, and are similar in design to a syringe. The applicator consists of a bigger tube and a narrower tube. The bigger tube has a smooth surface and a round end for easier insertion. Some applicators have a star shape opening at the round end, others are open ended. The tampon itself rests inside the bigger tube, near the open end. The narrower tube is nested inside the other end of the bigger tube. The open end of the bigger tube is placed and held in the vagina, then the narrower tube is pushed into the bigger tube (typically using a finger) pushing the tampon through and into the vagina. If not inserted at a 45 degree angle it can cause discomfort and make removal difficult. For other uses, see Plastic (disambiguation). ... Cardboard is a generic non-specific term for a heavy duty paper based product. ... A syringe nowadays nearly always means a medical syringe, but it can mean any of these: A simple hand-powered piston pump consisting of a plunger that can be pulled and pushed along inside a cylindrical tube (the barrel), which has a small hole on one end, so it can...


Digital or non-applicator tampons are tampons sold without applicators; these are simply unwrapped and pushed into the vagina with the fingers. Stick tampons are also available.


Probiotic tampons are available in Europe. These tampons can help prevent or cure vaginal infections, like Bacterial Vaginosis and/ or Candida, by strengthening the natural microbiotic vaginal flora. These tampons include probiotics, or three strains of lactic acid bacteria, which naturally occur in the healthy vagina. The vaginal flora of a healthy woman is dominated by lactic acid bacteria, which produce lactic acid as part of their metabolism. The lactic acid makes the vagina acidic, about pH 3.8 to 4.2. Most pathogens do not thrive in such an acidic environment. Therefore, lactic acid bacteria are part of the human female's first line of defense against infection.[citations needed] For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Simplified schematic of an islands flora - all its plant species, highlighted in boxes. ...


It is usually not necessary to remove a tampon before urinating or having a bowel movement. Manneken Pis of Brussels. ... For the death metal band, see Defecation (band). ...


Absorbency ratings

2 water drop marks mean that the absorbency is between 6 to 9 grams.
2 water drop marks mean that the absorbency is between 6 to 9 grams.

Tampons are available in several different absorbency ratings, which are consistent across manufacturers in the U.S.: Image File history File linksMetadata Tamponlable. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Tamponlable. ...

  • Junior absorbency: 6 grams and under
  • Regular absorbency: 6 to 9 grams
  • Super absorbency: 9 to 12 grams
  • Super plus absorbency: 12 to 15 grams
  • Ultra absorbency: 15 to 18 grams
  • Mega absorbency: 19+ grams

Brands

Some common tampon brands include:

Kotex is a brand of feminine hygiene products, including maxi pads, pantiliners (named Lightdays), and feminine wipes. ... Playtex is a brand of womens products. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Benefits

Tampons are a menstrual device worn completely inside the vaginal canal with the exception of the string. This makes them suitable for wear during activities such as swimming. Menstrual blood is not exposed to the air with the use of tampons, so there is limited odor. There is no way to see that a woman is using a tampon when she is clothed, unlike sanitary napkins, which have outlines that can sometimes be seen through fabric. As a disposable product, there is no need to wash anything in between use. Wingless type (left) and winged type (right) of disposable sanitary napkin. ...


Toxic shock syndrome

Main article: toxic shock syndrome

Tampons have been shown to have a connection to toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare but sometimes fatal disease caused by bacterial infection. The U.S. FDA suggests the following guidelines for decreasing the risk of contracting TSS when using tampons: Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by a bacterial toxin. ... Infection is also the title of an episode of the television series Babylon 5; see Infection (Babylon 5). ...

  • Follow package directions for insertion
  • Choose the lowest absorbency needed for one's flow
  • Change the tampon at least every 4 to 8 hours
  • Consider alternating disposable or cloth pads with tampons
  • Avoid tampon usage overnight when sleeping
  • Increase awareness warning signs of toxic shock syndrome

Following these guidelines can help to protect a woman from TSS, and cases of tampon connected TSS are extremely rare in the United States. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by a bacterial toxin. ...


Other health concerns

Many chemicals are present in tampons, including pesticides used on the cotton and chlorine used to bleach the tampons. Some of the chemicals used to bleach tampons have been implicated in the formation of dioxin. A study by the FDA done in 1995 says there are not significant amounts of dioxin to pose a health risk; the amount detected ranged from undetectable to 1 part in 3 trillion, which is far less than the normal exposure to dioxin in everyday life.[1] Additionally, tampons not using bleaching or chemical treatment are available to those concerned with potential dioxin exposure. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... the plane is spreading pesticide. ... General Name, symbol, number chlorine, Cl, 17 Chemical series nonmetals Group, period, block 17, 3, p Appearance yellowish green Standard atomic weight 35. ... Dioxin is the common name for the group of compounds classified as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs). ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday. ... Look up trillion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Another concern is related to the use of rayon in tampons. Rayon consists of tiny strings of plastic. Some speculate that these strands of plastic can cause microtears on the vaginal wall when being inserted and taken out.[who?][citation needed] There is further speculation that, if microtears are present, the condition could leave the vagina more open to infection.[neutrality disputed][citation needed] Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulosic fiber. ...


Fiber loss along with damage done to the vaginal tissue from fiber has also been a concern. Furthermore, as tampons are absorbent and placed within an area such as the vagina, this significantly increases the risk of bacterial infections.


Although some[who?] say that 100% cotton tampons may be safer than using tampons with a cotton and rayon mix because of there being less dioxin, there is still a risk with all-cotton tampons. Some researchers[who?] claim that although switching to a 100% cotton alternative reduces the risk of TSS, it does not remove it entirely.[citation needed] People are also exposed to dioxins in other ways, so eliminating dioxin in tampons will not mean there will be no contact with dioxin in the environment. Fiber loss is more likely with all-cotton tampons than those with cotton and rayon mix. All-cotton tampons are also generally harder to find and usually cost more than generic tampon brands. For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulosic fiber. ... Dioxin is the common name for the group of compounds classified as polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs). ... Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but potentially fatal disease caused by a bacterial toxin. ...


Alternative choices

In Western culture, most women choose to use either tampons or disposable sanitary napkins to handle their menstrual flow. Other choices include menstrual cups, cloth menstrual pads, or a diaphragm. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... See also Mensuration, a term sometimes used to describe Measurement, particularly in the context of forestry. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A menstrual cup is a type of cup or barrier worn by a female inside the vagina during menstruation to collect menstrual fluid. ... Cloth menstrual pads are a reusable alternative to disposable sanitary napkins. ...


Prior to the development of tampons, Western women generally resorted to reusable cloth rags. These would be soaked in a diaper pail after use. Rags continue to be used by women in some Third-World countries today, including much of Africa, out of affordability and distribution problems associated with other methods. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...


The Museum of Menstruation proposes that most premodern women used nothing at all, but bled into their clothing. It should also be remembered that many premodern women would have menstruated relatively little, being pregnant or breast-feeding most of their fertile lives. A pregnant woman Pregnancy is the process by which a mammalian female carries a live offspring from conception until it develops to the point where the offspring is capable of living outside the womb. ... A breastfeeding infant Breastfeeding is the practice of a woman feeding an infant (or sometimes a toddler or a young child) with milk produced from her mammary glands, usually directly from the nipples. ... Fertile may be used in the following conrtext: Fertility, a term used to describe the ability of people or animals to produce healthy offspring. ...

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References

  • Finley, Harry (1998)(2001). The Museum of Menstruation and Women's Health. Retrieved December 12, 2003 from http://www.mum.org/comtampons.htm
  • Khela, Bal (November 26, 1999). The Women's Environmental Network. Retrieved December 13, 2003 from http://www.wen.org.uk/gen_eng/Genetics/tampon1.htm
  • Meadows, Michelle (March-April, 2000). Tampon safety: TSS now rare, but women should still take care. FDA Consumer magazine.
  • Sanpro. (April 8, 2003). The Women's Environmental Network. Retrieved December 13, 2003 from http://www.wen.org.uk/sanpro/sanpro.htm
  • Truths and myths about tampons http://www.snopes.com/toxins/tampon.htm
  • Using a Toilet for Tampon Disposal
  • Practicing Proper Sanitary Napkin Disposal
  • The effects of lactic acid bacteria: Bacterial Vaginosis: a public health review, Marianne Morris et al, British Journal of Obstetrics and Gyneocology, 2001, Bacterial Vaginosis as a risk factor for preterm delivery: A meta analysis, Harld Leitisch et al, General Obstetrics and Gynecology Obstetrics, 2003.
  1. ^ Definition and etymology of tampon
  2. ^ Manual of the antiseptic treatment of wounds, by William Watson Cheyne, Published 1885, J. H. Vail, p 107 - 109
  3. ^ Tampons to the Rescue, Snopes.com

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
History of the Tampon (1067 words)
Tampons come in various sizes, which are related to their absorbency ratings and packaging.
Tampons are also sold without applicators; these are simply unwrapped and pushed into the vagina with the fingers.
Tampons, their applicators, and wrappings are used once and then either flushed down a toilet, or disposed of in trash.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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