Do tampons expire? Dates, brands and what needs to be monitored

It's possible?

If you have found a tampon in your closet and you are wondering if it is safe to use it, well, it depends on its age.

Buffers have a shelf life, but you are likely to use them before they expire.

Read on to learn more about the duration of tampons, how to identify an expired tampon and more.

What is the useful life of the tampons?

The useful life of the tampons is approximately five years, provided that they are left in the package without being disturbed and are not exposed to excessive humidity.

Buffers are medical devices, but they are not packaged and sealed as sterile products. This means that bacteria and mold can grow if they are not stored properly.

It is also believed that the shelf life of organic tampons is about five years, because cotton is susceptible to bacteria and mold.

If you know that a tampon is expired, do not use it, even if it looks fresh. Mold is not always visible and may be hidden by the applicator.

How can I make tampons last longer?

To be safe, always store your tampons in a cabinet in a cool, dry place. While bathing may be the most convenient place to store them, it is also the most likely breeding ground for bacteria.

The shelf life of your tampons can also be shortened if they come in contact with other foreign bacteria, such as perfume and dust:

  • Always store them in their original packaging to reduce the risk of contamination.

  • Do not let them roll in your bag for weeks, which can result in your packaging breaking.

To take away Always store your tampons in a cabinet in a cool, dry place, not in your bathroom. You should also keep them in their original packaging to avoid contamination of perfumes, dust and other debris.

How to know if a buffer has expired.

Most tampon brands do not come with a clear expiration date. Carefree states that your tampons do not have an expiration date and should last a long time if you store them in a dry place.

Tampax tampons show an expiration date on all boxes. Actually, they show two dates: the production date and the month and year in which they will expire. So, if you use Tampax, there are no guesses involved.

You can not always trust the visible signs that a tampon has broken down. It is likely that it is only visibly moldy if the seal breaks and dirt or other debris has entered the packaging.

Never use a tampon if you notice:

  • discoloration

  • odor

  • mold patches

Pro Council If you use a brand that does not show an expiration date, mark your packages with the month and date of purchase, especially if you buy in bulk.

What can happen if you use an expired tampon?

The use of a tampon with mold can cause symptoms such as itching and increased vaginal discharge. However, this should be resolved as the vagina returns to its natural pH levels after its period.

If your symptoms last more than a few days, consult your doctor. They can prescribe an antibiotic to eliminate any possible infection.

In rare cases, the use of a tampon can cause toxic shock syndrome (SST). This risk is slightly higher when the buffer is left in longer than recommended, is "super absorbent" or has expired.

TSS occurs when bacterial toxins enter the bloodstream. TSS is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Seek emergency medical attention if you experience:

  • high fever

  • headache

  • body ache

  • Diarrhea

  • nausea

  • barf

  • dizziness or fainting

  • breathing difficulties

  • Confusion

  • eruption

  • low blood pressure

  • skin peeling

  • seizures

  • Organ failure

TSS can be fatal if it is not diagnosed and treated early. To help reduce your SST risk:

  • Wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon.

  • Use the lowest absorbency buffer recommended for your menstrual flow.

  • Change the tampons as indicated on the package, usually every four to eight hours.

  • Insert only one buffer at a time.

  • Alternate tampons with a sanitary napkin or other menstrual hygiene product.

  • Do not use tampons unless you have a constant flow. When your current period ends, stop using it until your next period.

The bottom line

If your box of tampons does not come with an expiration date, get into the habit of writing the month and year of purchase on the side.

Store your tampons in a dry place and discard those with broken stamps or that show obvious signs of mold.

If you experience any uncomfortable or unpleasant symptoms after using a tampon, make an appointment with your doctor.

Although the development of TSS after using an expired tampon is rare, it is still possible.

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have any symptoms of TSS.

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