U By Kotex just issued a press release in the United States to address the recall of their tampons from the market. The move was voluntary, following reports that customers complained about the tampons coming apart when they’re removed.
The press release wrote: “Kimberly-Clark has received reports from consumers of the U by Kotex® Sleek® Tampons, Regular Absorbency, unraveling and/or coming apart upon removal, and in some cases causing users to seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body. There also have been a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms.”
The cause was said to be a quality-related defect.
Kimberly-Clark clarified that the recall “is limited to specific lots of U by Kotex® Sleek® Tampons, Regular Absorbency, that were manufactured between October 7, 2016 and October 16, 2018 and distributed between October 17, 2016 and October 23, 2018.”
A check done on Singapore’s Kotex website showed that the range is not available in Singapore, but we have contacted the Kimberly-Clark office in Singapore to confirm and are awaiting their reply. We will update this article when they have replied.
When using tampons, it’s important to change it regularly to avoid bacterial infections. In July this year, a Canadian teenager died of toxic shock syndrome and dangerous bacteria was detected on the tampon in her body. While her body already had the bacteria, the use of tampons were said to increase the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
According to Dr Tan Kai Lit, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (Maternal Fetal Medicine) from Thomson Women’s Clinic (Toa Payoh), toxic shock syndrome (TSS)—a condition caused by bacterial toxins and can lead to fever, rash or even death—is one of the side effects of using tampons. “It’s rare, but it does happen.” Other side effects include foul-smelling odour and allergic reactions.
Feel any discomfort while using tampons? Dr Tan suggests monitoring your condition. “If you don’t have symptoms of TSS, whether it’s fever, infection, feeling unwell or pain, [having] abnormal discharge [or] foul-smelling discharge, then I guess you check your level of discomfort. If it goes away after a while, then you should watch [your condition]. But if the problem persists and is associated with a foul-smelling discharge, or if the symptoms get worse, you should get it checked as soon as possible.”
While there has been no reports of the U By Kotex tampons “unravelling” in Singapore, Dr Tan says if it happens to you, you can try taking it out yourself first. “If you can see one end of it, you can slowly pull it out. If the whole piece comes out, I think that’s fine. But if you tried and you couldn’t, I think it’s better a gynae exam.”
Should you take it out yourself, it’s important to make sure that you have gotten the whole piece out. “If there’s one piece that’s separate from the tampon itself, then of course you should get a gynae to check to make sure everything is taken out,” Dr Tan says.
Tip: Dr Tan suggests switching to pads towards the end of your period cycle to minimise abrasions. He says, “Because the tampon is dry, if there’s not enough menses or lubrication, it can cause abrasion on the walls of the vagina.”