Tales from the Front Line(r): #3 “I always use digital tampons”

2 min read

Choosing to try tampliners might feel like a bit of a leap. How exactly do they work? Are they really any better than normal tampons or pads? How do you wee with one in? We thought it’d be interesting to ask people who use tampliners how they got started. Since we’re used to talking about our vaginas A LOT these days, we’re starting with the Callaly team ourselves.

Next up is Kelsey, our marketing manager, who always used digital tampons before she tried tampliners.

So how did you find your previous femcare option?
I’d been using digital tampons for a while. I didn’t like applicator ones because I find it easier to fit tampons with my own hand. I used pads for ages – well into my 20s – and when I started using digital tampons it seemed fine at the time, but retrospectively I think blood has always leaked down the string. It didn’t feel like they always absorbed everything. I just wore darker pants or older ones and if they got blood on them I washed them and they just became my period pants. It didn’t really bother me. I didn’t wear liners – I hate wearing anything like that after using pads for so long.

What was your first impression when you saw a tampliner?
I was really intrigued. The liner I wasn’t super-excited about, but I could see how it could be beneficial. The part that got me the most was the insertion and removal, virtual applicator part. It’s not that I mind touching my own vagina, it’s more that I hate pulling my pants back up with one hand; I hate walking to the sink like this [Kelsey turns into a zombie], not wanting to touch things.

Any new product has been really foreign to me. I have great guilt that I don’t use a menstrual cup. It’s obviously better for the environment, it’s safe, whatever. But I have a real issue with the suction part of it and it just makes me uncomfortable. Whereas the tampliner was a product I could recognise but it was also something new. Organic cotton was starting to be more of a conversation point, but it just felt like, “Does it actually work better? Is it better for me?” It’s like buying organic chicken – I probably should but I don’t. With tampliners I thought, “This is something way different. What if this changes my whole period experience?”

Talk us through the first time you used one
I was at this feminist event, which is such a cliché, haha. It’s a group called VERVE and I was at their Tits and Tats event. I’d never been there before, we were all sitting round and I’d had a few proseccos by this point. I said “OK, I’m going to go put a tampliner in”, and everyone was like “Go you!” I had seen Kate (our head of marketing) demonstrate it, so I knew the liner was supposed to fold, which was very helpful to know. I was a little uncomfortable because I’d never worn a liner there, but I do remember being like “Gasp! My finger! It’s clean!” I did wash my hands but it was good to know that if I couldn’t, I wouldn’t have to. That is awesome.

Will you keep using it?
It’s a good option for me if I feel like it’s a heavier day and I might have more leakage. The mini-liner still sticks out a little bit for me, but I’ve worked out how to wee. I love the shed-free surface because learning about tampon shedding has really freaked me out. I’ve also started being more in touch with my periods and looking at my tampons more, so that’s quite cool.

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Currents is a place where interested people with periods come to get the real lowdown on menstruation and bodies. We explain the things nobody else does, normalising every experience of periods no matter how weird it might feel. We’ll leave you informed, unashamed and ready to expect more for yourself.

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