What every girl needs to know about her period - tampons, pads, TSS, PMS

by Clint Jhonson - Date: 2007-02-28 - Word Count: 729 Share This!

Puberty is a difficult transition from girlhood to womanhood during which girls mature in all facets. At this stage, girls particularly become more aware of their bodies, and can struggle with a variety of physical, sexual and emotional changes, including their first menstrual period. During this period, it is necessary that a girl be prepared for this important life transition. Girls need to be educated about their vagina, the female reproductive system, the use of products such as: tampons, pads, pantyliners, feminine wipes as well as maintaining good hygiene.

Young women gather information about puberty from a variety of sources, such as parents, teachers, media, teens dedicated sites, but more than often, they learn about their bodies through their friends. During this exploratory phase girls learn that every healthy woman typically has a menstrual cycle of 28 days or so, during which, alternatively, one of the two ovaries of the female body releases a mature egg. The fallopian tube guides the egg into the uterus, where fertilization takes place. If the egg is not fertilized, it is shed along with the uterine lining. This in essence is a period. The menstrual flow from the uterus is discharged out of the body through the opening of the cervix, and further through the vagina. The menstrual cycle is over when the next period begins.

This overview about the process of a menstrual period can be quite helpful for curious and anxious adolescent girls. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There's a slew of other information that each girl needs to know to truly get her through puberty with confidence. For instance, tampons and sanitary napkins (also know as pads) are two types of feminine hygiene products, that's necessary during a menstrual period, both are designed to absorb the menstrual flow. Pads are designed for external use, having an adhesive backing, which holds them into place in a girl's underwear.

Unlike pads, tampons are intended for internal use, and are inserted directly into the vagina. Tampons come in four absorbencies/sizes, and fit into the opening of the vagina. Once inside the body, tampons act like a sponge that gently swells when it is saturated with blood. It can be easily removed simply by pulling the attached string. Girls should not worry about tampons making their vagina larger. The muscular walls of the vagina are very flexible, and can expand and shrink as needed. Tampons can also be used by virgins without worrying about becoming devirginized.

Young women enjoy wearing tampons because they are practically invisible when being worn. This helps to ensure that not no one will know that it's that time of the month. Additionally, tampons are can be easily disguised in your purse bag or even your pant pockets and are convenient for swimming and exercising. Pantyliners another absorbent material can also be used with tampons as an added protection to avoid embarrassing accidents such as leakage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that tampons need to be changed every 4-6 hours to avoid and minimize the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) are two potential hazards of having a period. Fortunately there are various solutions to combat them. To relieve PMS symptoms, which includes mood swings, body bloat, cramps you can do the following: use a heating pad or patch, take a hot bath or an over-the-counter pill, reduce salt, caffeine and sugar intake. Menstrual TSS a rare but serious and potentially life threatening reaction, is caused by using tampons improperly. If you feel you have Menstrual TSS symptoms, remove the tampon immediately and contact your doctor. With the proper treatment, patients recover in two or three weeks. The FDA suggests that the risk of Menstrual TSS can be reduced by not using tampons at all or by alternating with pads.
The bottom line advice is related to practicing a good intimate hygiene by keeping your private parts clean and dry. Remember to change tampons and/or pads frequently and to use pantyliners for daily use as protection against leakage. You can also use prior to your period when you have vaginal discharge - that white sticky stuff that comes from your vagina - or during the last days of your period. This will make you feel fresh and comfortable all day long.

Related Tags: vagina, period, puberty, tampons

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