Some possible tampon problems are an irritating fragrance, losing tampons, and spotting. Fragrance added to tampons can irritate the vagina. Losing a tampon in the vagina is not normally possible, but young women lacking knowledge about their bodies may believe it is. In addition, spotting can occur when a tampon is too full. Lastly, toxic shock syndrome is a disease the vast majority of women will not experience, but it can be deadly when it develops.
Scented tampons are designed to cover up vaginal odors, but they are a major source of tampon problems. The added fragrance can irritate the vagina, sometimes contributing to infection. People who have strong vaginal odor during their periods can try changing tampons more often. In most cases, this reduces or eliminates the problem, making scented tampons unnecessary. The same is true for scented sanitary pads.
Among the most common tampon problems for girls is losing one inside the vagina. It is not possible for a tampon to move out of the vagina and into the cervix or stomach, but many young women have not yet learned this. A lost tampon is rarely actually lost; it is either in the vagina or was taken out and disposed of and then forgotten about. Most tampons have a string to easily pull them out, but they can also be grabbed with two fingers. Flexing the muscles of the pelvic floor will help bring a tampon further down to more easily remove it.
Spotting is also among some of the most common tampon problems. It occurs when the tampon is incorrectly inserted or too full to absorb more blood. When this happens, the wearer’s underwear can end up spotted with blood and tissue that the tampon could not catch. Changing the tampon on a regular basis and following the instructions it came with usually go a long way toward preventing spotting.
Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but serious disease that can be fatal. Some of its symptoms are organ failure, rash that leads to peeling skin, and high fever. Women who use tampons on a regular basis are at risk of developing it, but can lower their risk by using less absorbent tampons. Aside from tampon use, surgeries and barrier contraceptives also increase a person’s risk of getting the bacteria that leads to the disease. It is estimated that toxic shock syndrome is fatal in about half the people who develop it.