I'm a borderline hoarder and love a good deal, so it will come as little surprise that I have on numerous occasions stockpiled tampons and sanitary pads. I'm young, I most likely have a lot of menstruating ahead of me, so why not make good of a 3 for 2 offer - or y'know clean out the clearance aisle of sanitary products? As it goes just like almost everything else found in the supermarket Tampons do indeed have a shelf life - five years seems to be the agreed upon magic number.

Admittedly I had no real clue that Tampons had a best before date, I always pretty much assumed that if a Tampon was still in its protective wrapper, that it would be perfectly fine to use indefinitely. After a little research that turns out to be incorrect, Tampons have a "use by" date of five years - something that all the major feminine hygiene manufactures neglect to mention online and as such not something that we are all totally aware of.

Did You Tampons Have a Use By Date

Sure at school or at home, someone - hopefully a little wiser than your young self - will have sat you down and explained the basics of periods including sanitary products but did anyone ever mention Tampon expiry dates? Did your Mum, Sister, guardian or the school nurse, have as much as an inkling about this? Probably not, it's not exactly highlighted on the boxes (tiny dates at the bottom) nor mentioned on any of the major manufacturers websites; as it can lead to infection, you'd think brands would be keen to let their consumers know - more product equates to more money after all.

Admittedly the chances of anyone actually using an expired Tampon are slim but it could happen. People move homes, we stash things away only to find them years later and there is of course that random Tampon, that most likely has been rolling around the bottom of your bag since the day after you bought it. Like I said it could happen and like everything in life, I think the mantra better safe than sorry really comes into play.

Did You Tampons Have a Use By Date

So first of all the expiry date rule for Tampons - it will be printed on the bottom of each pack, often in tiny print like above - applies to Tampons only, sanitary towels aren't manufactured in the same way nor are they used identically. The reason Tampons have an expiration date is because although they are sanitary, they are not sterile meaning that if not stored properly - aka not at the bottom of your bag, alongside dust and a half eaten bag of Cheetos - they can grow mold and be exposed to all sorts of bacteria you don't necessarily want near your vagina.

Now we have that out of the way, there are a few ways you can prevent Tampon mishaps from happening - with the obvious being pay attention to: a, the expiry date on the box and b, where you store your Tampons - think dry, cool areas of your home. So if you are doing a massive clear out of your room and find a box of unused Tampons, a quick glance of the "use by" (and general condition of the box) date should let you know if they are safe for use or not. For that stray-yet-emergency Tampon at the bottom of your bag, individually wrapped products are the way forward as the have a protective barrier and also allow you to pop on a sticker (should you wish) with the use by date scribbled upon it;  if that's not for you, simply vow to replace said unused - and often forgot about - Tampon at least once a year.

Use this post as an excuse to finally de-clutter your (numerous) handbags and maybe alert friends and family members about the Tampon expiry date issue - the more people that know, the less chance of others falling ill due to a genuine mistake.