You're Probably Making This Tampon Mistake Without Realising It

Many of us having been making the error for years.
Yulia Reznikov via Getty Images

Changing your tampon is a normal part of a period... but you could be making a huge error when it comes to disposing of a used one.

Kerry Katona, yes of Atomic Kitten and Iceland advert fame, was left shocked after she realised she’s been one of the many making the bathroom error every single month.

The 42-year-old revealed on the BBC podcast ‘Wheel of Misfortune’ that she has always flushed her used tampons down the toilet – completely unaware of the fact they can cause major blockages in the sewerage system.

During the interview, Katona questioned: “So when you take your Tampax out, what do you do with it? Where do you put it?”

Comedian Alison Spittle responded: “I just swing it round my finger and hope for the best.”

After admitting “I’ve always put it in the toilet... am I not supposed to do that?”, Katona then Googled the correct method of disposal and was left horrified at her mistake: “No you can’t! Oh my god! No, tampons can cause plumbing blockages that can lead to sewage backflow.”

And it turns out Katona’s not the only one accidentally making the bathroom error – from the comments section of the clip above, it’s safe to say not all of us know to bin the period product after use.

“I always thought tampons down the loo, pads in the bin,” wrote one.

Another added: “I had no clue you couldn’t put tampons down the toilet – they must have changed what they are made with.”

Here’s the official guidance from Tampax: “Tampons wouldn’t be an effective period-care product if they broke down so easily in the presence of liquid! Flushing tampons and other period-care products down the toilet can not only clog your pipes, but they can end up in rivers and oceans, harming the environment. Do your part and please don’t flush tampons.”

Want to be eco-friendly during your next period? Opt for a reusable moon cup, don’t flush tampons and if you do need to use disposable tampons, look for 100% biodegradable versions.