Any person who menstruates will be familiar with that feeling of leaking while on their period. You know it, you’re standing there talking to your friend, and the next minute you feel a gush in your underwear while you scramble to the nearest bathroom to do some damage control – usually with rolled up toilet paper because you’re all out of period products. As uncomfortable as a tampon leakage is, there could be a number of reasons that causes it, and thankfully there are some ways to avoid it happening in the future. Here are some of the potential reasons why you might be experiencing tampon leaks.
Your tampon is full
As we know, changing your tampon is important for avoiding infection and toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Healthcare professionals recommend that you don’t wear your tampon for more than 8 hours at a time, changing it every 4-8 hours. While this marker is a helpful guide, it can differ from person to person. The heaviness of your flow dictates how often you should change your tampon, and a number of reasons contributes to how heavy your flow can be. Conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS and fibroids can cause bleeding that is heavier than the average period, which may result in your tampon becoming full quicker. Where you are in your cycle can also contribute to how heavy your flow is. The NHS outlines that your period is often heaviest on the first 2 days of your period.
You’re using the wrong absorbency
You know the absorbency labels on period care boxes? Turns out we actually have to pay attention to them. Matching up the right absorbency to your individual needs and the heaviness of your flow can help you to avoid unwanted leaks. Tampon absorbency levels usually range from light, regular, super, and super plus. Often, the Syngina test method is used to measure the absorbencies of different tampons and how to label them accordingly, this means that tampons will always have the same absorbency level across all brands.
It’s not inserted correctly
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t be able to feel your tampon inside of you. If you can feel your tampon as you stand up and walk around, then you can guess that it’s probably not inserted the right way. Tampons can leak when they’re not pushed into the vaginal canal high enough, or if they were inserted at a wrong angle. If you think you tampon might not be inserted correctly, simply take it and out insert a new one.
So how can I avoid leaks?
First off, it’s important to remember that leaks are normal and happen to most people at some point throughout their menstruating years. However, there are some ways you can combat it to avoid the dreaded moment from happening again in the future.
Track your Flow
Knowing when exactly your flow will be at its heaviest will help you to avoid leaks. On the days that your flow is heavier, you can choose a tampon with the corresponding absorbency and other methods to ensure you are leak free. Joii is working on technology that will make tracking and managing your flow much easier, which we can’t wait to share with you soon!
Double up on Protection
Sadly, sometimes, just a tampon isn’t enough. You may need to double up your protection on the days that your flow is heavy with a tampon and something like a pad, panty liner, or period pants. This means that if you do experience a leakage you can rely on your back up protection to prevent the leak from getting onto your clothes and causing a full-scale emergency.
Change your tampon frequently
Keeping on top of changing your tampon can help keep leaks to a minimum. Although the maximum recommended time to wear a tampon is 4-8 hours, you can adjust that to your personal needs. If changing your tampon every time you go to the bathroom works for you, then that’s what you should do. Some signs that your tampon is full and ready to be changed are if there’s no resistance when you pull the string, a full tampon will slide out easily, or if there’s blood on the string.