Tampons are feminine care products placed inside the vagina to absorb menstrual flow. These products are available in a variety of absorbencies and different insertion methods to suit a woman’s needs.
In contrast to pads and liners, which can have a range of uses, tampons are designed for menstrual use only. Because they absorb menstrual flow in the body, they enable women to participate in activities that require more discrete protection and freedom of movement, like swimming.
Tampons come in different absorbencies so women can choose the tampon best suited for their needs.
Types of tampons include:
- Digital tampons: Have no applicator and are inserted manually with the finger.
- Applicator tampons: Inserted with an applicator made of cardboard or plastic.
What are the parts of a tampon?
The main components of modern tampons may include:
- Absorbent material: Cotton and/or rayon that absorbs and retains menstrual flow. Tampons do NOT contain super absorbent polymers (SAP), also known as super absorbers.
- Nonwoven/perforated film: A thin, smooth layer that wraps around the absorbent material.
- Cord/string: Securely attaches to the tampon to allow for easy removal of the tampon. Can be made of cotton or other fibers.
- Applicator: Often made of coated paper or plastic and designed to help make tampon insertion easier.
- Wrapper: Paper or a thin plastic that individually wraps the tampon before it is packaged in a carton. It keeps the tampon clean and protected until use.
- Fragrance: Fragrances are substances used to make products smell nice and to help mask malodors.
- Colors: Inks and pigments used in small amounts to assist in the identification of components for ease of use and to make the products more appealing to use.