Is your tampon leaving something behind?
Shedding. A word used to describe trees shedding their leaves, pets shedding their fur, snakes losing their skin and eyes shedding the odd tear. Probably not a word you associate with period products, particularly those you wear inside your body for hours at a time.
Sadly, maybe it’s time you did. Skip this paragraph if you’re squeamish but tampons shedding fibres in the vagina – the most delicate and absorbent part of your body – can be a serious issue. This was highlighted recently when a teenager from Suffolk went to remove her tampon only to find it ripped in half inside her – after just five minutes’ wear. She tested the absorbency of the remaining tampons, bought from a budget supermarket, by placing them in a glass of water. As she told the Daily Mail, after a few minutes the tampons were shedding fibres and came apart in her hands. Understandably she was left feeling shocked and scared.
Fibres inside your nether regions not only sound unpleasant, they can also have serious health consequences. There’s a risk of bacteria growing on these rogue fibres, increasing your chances of infections such as toxic shock syndrome. Callaly gynaecologist and co-founder Alex explains: “Regular vaginal discharge helps to clean the vagina and prevents infection. If, however, bits of fibre or broken tampon are retained, especially when lodged high in the vagina, there is a risk of infection – which can even lead to blood poisoning.” And those fibres can hang around a lot longer than you might think. Remnants of tampons can sometimes be seen during vaginal examinations and nurses conducting smear tests have reported having to remove shed fibres, too.
It would be easy to dismiss this problem as one that only applies to budget brands like the 89p tampons used by the Suffolk teenager, but price isn’t necessarily an indicator of shedding. We bought a selection of brands and tested them at Callaly HQ. The results showed that some of the bigger-name tampons were also guilty. This came as no surprise to Alex, who has been concerned about shedding for more than ten years – in fact, it’s one of the issues that prompted him to invent the tampliner.
“It is rather shocking to know that some femcare companies are still producing tampons that shed small amounts of fibre or even break apart,” says Alex. “We wanted to make a product that put health and safety at its core, so we could ensure people with periods feel safe and secure.” That’s why you’ll find the tampliner gives you peace of mind in more ways than one. An integrated absorbent mini-liner provides an extra layer of protection against leaks, while the tampon’s shed-free surface makes it much more robust.
And, unlike products constructed from rayon – which consists of short, straight, synthetic fibres that can easily slide apart and shed into the vagina during use – tampliners are made from biodegradable organic cotton. It’s one of the safest products out there for femcare, and that’s why all our period products (including our non-applicator tampons) use 100% organic cotton instead of rayon.
When we developed the first tampliners we realised that they would be 20% more expensive to produce than the less secure options. But we’d had enough of products that put women’s health and comfort at risk, so the decision was easy to make. When you use a tampliner, you’re using a product that has been invented specifically to stay put and stay safe. We think that’s pretty important – and we’re guessing you’d agree.