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Heart To Heart

Monday, April 09, 2018

Usage of ‘Tampons’
Kindly shed some light on the usage of “Tampons” during menses? Are there any special instructions or precautions that one needs to be aware of while using tampons? Does it hurt when you put a tampon? Can tampon get lost inside the body?

Tampons are small, hard, cotton objects that are inserted into the vagina during menstruation. The compressed cotton softens as it absorbs the blood that comes into the vagina from the uterus. Attached to the tampon is a little soft cotton thread, which hangs out of the vagina. You need to pull this thread to remove the tampon. A tampon cannot get lost inside your vagina or move to another part of your body. It stays inside your vagina until you pull it out.

When you first insert a tampon, let someone show you how correctly to put it in your vagina. Putting a tampon in your vagina should not be painful; but it may hurt if you are apprehensive and not relaxed.

One nice thing about tampons is that once you place it in, you cannot feel them at all, so you can simply forget about the fact that you are having your periods. But tampons also require extra caution. Always wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon. You also need to change it often, because it could cause infection if it is left in your vagina for a long time. Women who use tampons change them every three or four hours, or even more often if bleeding is heavy. Never leave a tampon inside for more than eight hours. Avoid using tampons at night because you may sleep more than eight hours.

Large amount of bacteria can develop if a tampon is left in the vagina for too long. This can cause a rare illness called “Toxic Shock Syndrome” (TSS). Although the chances of getting TSS are very rare, it is very serious. If you develop a high fever, vomit, get diarrhea, and a sunburn-type skin rash while using a tampon, take the tampon out immediately and see your doctor without delay. You can lower your risk of getting TSS by sleeping with a pad instead of a tampon.

Children playing ‘doctor’
I was disturbed when I watched that my five and half year old nephew was playing “doctor” with my 4-year-old daughter and another friend, and simply showing private parts to each other. What should I do if I catch them playing "doctor" again. I am afraid that my daughter might be a victim of sexual abuse if I do not take action now.  

Children from 4 to 6 years of age are very likely to play "doctor" with each other. A lot of parents get disturbed and overreact when they observe such behavior. Loud and heavy-handed reprimanding is not the way to handle such a situation. Nor should parents interpret this as immoral behavior or will lead to promiscuity in future. Often, the mere presence of a responsible adult is enough to interrupt or halt the play. It is not difficult to direct your child's attention to another interesting activity without making a lot of fuss.

Subsequently, you can sit down with the child for a talk. You can explain that although you understand his/her interest in his/her friend's body, she is getting to be a grown-up girl and all people are mostly expected to keep their bodies covered in the presence of others. In this manner you have also set limits without making the child feel ashamed or guilty. This is also a proper age to begin to educate children about appropriate and inappropriate touch. Tell her that you care for her and you want to know about anything that makes her feel uncomfortable or odd. Explain that she has the right to privacy and that her body is her own. Clarify that no one has a right to touch her in a way that appears strange and unusual. Educate her that if anyone touches her ever in a manner that feels strange or odd, she should assertively tell that person to stop it and then report it to you about it as soon as possible.

Development of breasts
My teenage daughter is worried sick over the development of her breasts. At one end she is embarrassed about the growth of her breasts and has become abnormally self-conscious since she has started using bras. At the other end it bothers her that her breasts are not growing in proportion to some of her friends and they are uneven. Are there any exercises to increase the breast size? Kindly shed some light on this matter.

You may educate your daughter with the following information.

Some girls' breasts grow very quickly; for others the growth is slow. On average, it takes around four years for the breasts to develop fully; but some girls' breasts develop fully in less than a year, while other girls' breasts can take as long as six years to develop. If they are taking a long time to develop, one needs to be patient.

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. The size and shape of your breasts are determined by the genetic traits that you inherit. The size is also determined by the amount of fatty tissue in the breasts. There is nothing you can do about what your breasts look like. No amount of exercise can increase your breast size. Exercise works by building up the muscles, and there are no muscles in the breasts.

You also should know that breasts grow unevenly. One breast may become a bit bigger than the other breast. In fact, no one has two breasts that are exactly the same size, but usually this difference is not very noticeable. The shape of the nipple also varies a lot. Some women's nipples turn inwards. Instead of pointing out, they sink into the areola.

Some girls feel embarrassed when their breasts begin to grow. This is normal too. Many girls who are embarrassed about their breasts feel that way because none of their friends have begun to develop breasts yet.

Some girls lose their upright posture and sink in their chests, because they feel embarrassed about their growing breasts. This is a pity because everyone should like their body, be comfortable with their unique features and have a healthy sense of self-worth.

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Kindly shed some light on the usage of “Tampons”
Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
Consulting Sex Therapist & Counsellor
Dr. (Mrs.) Minnu R. Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychotherapist & Counsellor
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