By Becky Pemberton
MANY women keep their tampons in the bathroom so they are always prepared for an emergency – but there is an important reason why you should think twice about it.
Dr Alyssa Dweck, from New York, revealed that cotton tampons left in the warm, moist bathrooms are susceptible to mold and bacteria which can cause your vagina to become infected.
It is better to store your tampons in a cool, dark cupboard instead of a moist, warm bathroom
The moisture in the air is the perfect breeding ground for mold, and the heat can cause it multiply quickly.
What is even more worrying is that many tampons have their cotton section hidden in an applicator, so it can be hard to spot dark black, blue or green spots.
Dr Alyssa Dweck said to Women’s Health: “Think about cotton. It's susceptible to mold and bacteria.
"If your bathroom is particularly steamy, you might want to think about storing them in a cool, dark cabinet instead.”
The moisture in the air is the perfect breeding ground for mold, and the heat can cause it multiply quickly
If you do insert a moldy tampon, Dr Alyssa advised that you may notice itching, irritation and an increase in discharge, as the vagina attempts to maintain its natural pH.
Women should also be careful when they store an emergency tampon at the bottom of their bags.
Not only do tampons have a five-year shelf life after they leave the manufacturing facility and can expire, according to Dr Alyssa, but they can be susceptible to becoming contaminated.
Dr Alyssa advised that you may notice itching, irritation and an increase in discharge if you insert an old or moldy tampon
If a hair clip or coins at the bottom of your bag cause a tear to the protective covering, the tampon can be exposed to dirt and bacteria.
Dr Alyssa said: "Tampons have an expiry date that's usually five years after they're produced, read labels just like you would for salad or juice.”
Thankfully the healthcare professional said if you do use a contaminated tampon, your vagina can usually sort itself out without you needing a GP.
If a hair clip or coins at the bottom of your bag cause a tear to the protective covering, the tampon can be exposed to bacteria
However, if symptoms worsen after you remove the offending sanitary item, you should book an appointment with your gynecologist or GP and you may need a course of antibiotics.