We *finally* understand why tampons dry out our vaginas

We admit it: We have a love-hate relationship with our periods. They’re so messy, they cause such painful period cramps, and oh — tampons dry out our vaginas! (Yep — we went there. Because this is a place of truths). And don’t even get us started on the question of why our periods are so irregularOh, and what IS a menstrual cup anyway?

Ugh, we know we aren’t the only ones who remain baffled by our periods decades after getting them for the first time. But the good news is we have officially found the answer to at least one of these eternal queries — specifically, the whole tampon drying us out thing.

In SELF, women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., explained why in the world wearing tampons would lead to a dry vagina. And the answer? Is pretty simple. Wider explains,

“Some studies show that tampons can cause and/or exacerbate vaginal dryness."


SELF also spoke with Melissa Goist, M.D., an ob/gyn at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, elaborated.

“The tampon ‘wicks’ away the moisture from the menstrual cycle, but it can also absorb some of the vaginal moisture and vaginal flora (the normal bacteria that is typically in the vagina).

And, to make things even more interesting, it varies depending on when we’re in our ~cycle~. Yay.

“This can be more obvious when using a tampon on a ‘light’ day or a ‘super’ tampon when a woman isn’t having a ‘super’ cycle.


So there you have it, folks. We’re the last people to tell you whether or not to use tampons (you do you!), but maybe be brave and give something else a shot if vaginal dryness is giving you serious issues.

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