Tales from the Front Line(r) #2: “I hate wearing liners”
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 Kate, our head of marketing, who has discovered the freedom of not having to wear a liner (and the joy of clean hands…)
What period products did you use before tampliners?
I always used the same two brands of tampons, varying between applicator or non-applicator. I found using applicator tampons more convenient but I used to feel guilty about the plastic. Just before I started using tampliners my tampons were working OK, but before that I’d had lots of leakages since having children and being on a copper coil. I hated wearing liners. Especially when you’re a mum and you’ve got kids, you just feel like, Oh great, I’m changing nappies – then I’m wearing one!
What were your first impressions of tampliners?
Even though I’d met the Callaly team and seen a tampliner, I’d completely misunderstood how to wear it. I thought you wore the liner flat, so my first experience was a bit crap, to be honest. When I put it in, because I was used to using non-applicator tampons, I found it really weird that there was this barrier from my skin. But then when I pulled my finger out, I was like, ‘Oh wow, that’s really clean!’ So my negative feeling about ‘Why can’t I feel my own vagina’ was really quickly balanced with ‘That’s very handy.’
When I took it out, it felt like a ‘premium experience’
So talk us through your first experience using a tampliner
To be honest, I put my first one in in a real rush – my two kids were running around, I was trying to get to the gym… it wasn’t the relaxed, light-a-candle moment that I would’ve hoped for. As a result I didn’t push it in far enough. I couldn’t feel the virtual applicator at all, that was quite comfortable, but I was just really aware of the mini-liner because I was wearing it too far down. I hadn’t realised you have to push it so far up that it folds down. It wasn’t as annoying as a normal liner because it’s not as large, but there was no benefit.
When I took it out, it felt like a ‘premium experience’, haha. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. It was quite heavy, my flow at that time, so the fact that you just pulled it out and that blood-soaked tampon was just snugly wrapped and completely clean… the idea that you could put in and take out a tampon and have clean hands was completely alien.
The second time I used it, I pushed the tampon in further, which is the right thing to do. The liner folded inside [my labia], and that was just much more comfortable. Much easier to wee.
Obviously your answer’s going to be biased, but will you stick with using tampliners now?
Yes. But I’ve learned things I don’t like about them too. I can’t shower with them, because [the mini-liner] definitely gets wet. I find weeing with tampliners in more annoying than without. We’ve done research and some women say, “Oh, I didn’t notice it at all.” I’m not one of those. But then I don’t even like weeing with a string in; I have to make sure that I tuck it up in case it gets wet.
The massive benefit for me is freedom from having to wear liners most days of my period. And I really like that when you take the tampliner out, it’s wrapped. You don’t have to get all that toilet roll… when I had those really heavy periods after kids and a coil, I remember wrapping toilet paper around and around and around. So for me, that’s definitely the most exciting thing about it. Also after a month when I had lots of spotting and had to wear a liner every day, I discovered that non-organic liners can irritate my skin. The tampliner doesn’t do that.
Now I wear tampliners when it fits into my life – basically on the days when I would’ve normally doubled up.