I heard a discussion on the Sirius radio show “Whatever with Alexis and Jennifer” about whether or not young girls should be allowed to wear tampons. Alexis and Jennifer had talked to a mom who was bothered by the invasiveness of a tampon. She believed it was too much like sex and not appropriate for a teenage girl.
Alexis and Jennifer disagreed with this depiction and felt like tampons have absolutely nothing to do with sex and are essential to young girls being able to go on with their regular activities while having their periods. They felt that restricting young girls to pads made them suffer through their periods and would keep them from participating comfortably in their normal physical activities.
There was also discussion about whether young girls were responsible enough to remember to change their tampon. You never hear people talk about Toxic Shock Syndrome anymore but I guess that is the concern. I would think there would be natural consequences – ie embarrassing situations – if they didn’t change regularly.
I haven’t had to confront this yet with my oldest daughter but I am guessing I am two years away from it. So I am interested in how you guys handled with your daughters.
I started my period in the sixth grade but I don’t think I used a tampon until that summer. I had planned to go swimming at Stone Mountain with a group of girls and started that day. I didn’t think I could go and my mom was like “What are you talking about. Just wear a tampon.” So she goes and hands me this giant super OB tampon (no applicator) and is like there you go. I had no idea what to do with it and was particularly freaked out by the lack of applicator. She was incredulous that I couldn’t make it work and finally put together that 12-year-olds need the slim ones not the super ones. So we went to the store for a slender Playtex with an applicator. Overall, it was not a great first introduction to tampons. I think I wore them off and on depending on my activity after that. My mom left it up to me. (She was insistent that you NEVER sleep in them.)
So do you think tampons are appropriate for teenagers to wear? Did you let your daughters wear them? Did you worry about Toxic Shock Syndrome at all or is that all 1980s? Did you monitor if they changed regularly – or if they aren’t responsible enough to change it then they shouldn’t use them?
What was your first experience with tampons like? Did your mom hand you a super too? Did it go well?