Question: Are tampons haram in Islam? Can a tampon break my hymen and make me lose my virginity?
Tampons are not haram in Islam. There is no sin for using tampons during your menstruation period. Tampons do not make you lose your virginity in Islam. But some Muslim sisters may choose not to use them based on cultural taboos around the use of tampons.
Menstruation is a natural process that all women go through. There is nothing shameful about being on your period. Nor is it shameful to use products to contain the blood that comes out during menstruation.
In fact it is rewarding to use sanitary products because menstruation blood is impure in Islam. So it is important that this blood is contained as much as possible. And when you contain this blood you are rewarded by Allah for maintaining cleanliness.
Tampons can be one of the most effective ways to contain this blood and keep yourself clean. Providing they do not cause any other harm. So it is important to learn about the risks of using tampons which we’ll discuss later so keep reading.
Are Tampons Haram? – Prophetic Instruction on containing Menstruation Blood
There is no prohibition on using tampons in Islam. Tampons are not haram in Islam. Some scholars state that using a tampon is at most makruh (disliked) but not haram or sinful. They state that tampons are disliked because they are inserted into the vagina.
At the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) women would wear separate clothing during menstruation. This was their custom. The evidence for this is in the hadith narrated by Umm Salama:
While I was laying with the Prophet (peace be upon) under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses.
[Sahih al-Bukhari • Book 6, Hadith 5 • Graded Sahih (Authentic)]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also instructed to use cotton to block the blood. If the flow of blood is heavy then he said to fill it with cotton or wear it tighter like a bridle.
This shows it is permissible to use absorbent material like cotton to contain the flowing blood during menstruation. In our times this would be the equivalent of sanitary pads.
If the flow of blood is very heavy then it is also permissible to ‘fill it with cotton’. Meaning to insert the cotton inside the vagina to contain the blood. In our times this would be somewhat equivalent to using tampons. However it is important to note that a tampon is inserted a lot deeper inside the vagina. This is why some scholars state tampons are makruh (disliked) but not haram or sinful.
Hamnah bint Jahsh (may Allah be pleased with her) came to the Messenger of Allah and said: “I am suffering prolonged and painful bleeding.”
He said: “Fill it with a pad of cloth.” She said: “It is worse than that, it is flowing copiously.” He said: “Then bind yourself with a cloth.”
[Musnad Imam Ahmad & Sunan Ibn Majah • Graded Sahih (Authentic)]
What are Tampons?
Tampons are cylindrical cotton based plugs that women use when they are on their menses. The purpose of a tampon is to maintain hygiene and absorb flowing menstrual blood.
The tampon is inserted into a woman’s vagina where it soaks up the unclean menstruation blood. Tampons come in different absorbency levels. Depending on the quantity of flow of blood a woman may have to replace the tampon several times.
Tampons come in different sizes. You should get the size that is most appropriate and comfortable for you. This you will come to learn based on experience of using different sizes. Start with the smallest and stick with whatever is best in terms of maintaining hygiene and comfort.
How to Insert a Tampon?
Using a tampon for the first few times can be nerve-wracking and intimidating. I have laid out simple steps to follow to make it as easy as possible on how to wear a tampon.
If this is your first time I would advise to start with a smaller sized tampon until you get used to it. It may also take you several attempts but don’t get discouraged it will take some time getting used to.
Step #1. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap to make sure they are clean.
Step #2. Relax as much as possible and don’t be too tense. This will make it easier to insert the tampon.
Step #3. Choose a comfortable position. Some women like to lie down. Others prefer to sit on the toilet seat. Some prefer to stand and have one leg raised on a stool or toilet seat.
Step #4. You’ll need to use both hands. Use one hand to spread the opening of your vagina. Use the other hand to insert the tampon head first and string hanging down.
Step #5. It’s all about angle! The best angle I have found is 45 degrees adjacent to your back. The tampon should slide right in. Push it as far into your vagina up till the middle of the applicator.
Step #6. Once the tampon is inside with the applicator covering still on. Hold the middle of the applicator with one hand. Then push the bottom part of the applicator up. This will slide the applicator casing down and release the tampon inside your vagina.
Step #7. Make sure to leave the string hanging out so you can remove the tampon when needed.
If the tampon is near the entrance of your vagina it may be uncomfortable and painful. You may need to push the tampon higher up with your fingers to make it go higher up where the blood is flowing out from.
How often should you change your Tampon?
You should change your tampon every six odd-hours. If there is leakage you may need to change it every four hours or sooner.
Do not leave the tampon inside your vagina for more than eight hours. Remember the tampon is soaking up your menstrual blood. Blood carries many pathogens, diseases, toxins, bacteria and germs. So you don’t want to leave the tampon in you for too long to avoid any form of bacterial infection.
Removing and Disposing of a Tampon
To remove the tampon get in your preferred comfortable position. Whether lying down, sitting, standing or squatting.
Now gently pull the string of the tampon at a 45 degree angle adjacent to your back. The same angle you put it in.
If you are too tense and anxious it may be difficult to remove the tampon so try and relax and take your time slowly.
Tampons are usually disposable so once used they should be disposed of carefully. Many women may find it embarrassing to dispose of their blood filled tampon in a family bathroom. So they may decide to flush it down the toilet. You should never flush a tampon down the toilet as this may cause blockage.
You should wrap the used tampon in a non-transparent sanitary disposal bag and throw it in the garbage. This will help to contain the blood and avoid the menstrual blood from spreading around the bin. It will also avoid any embarrassing situations of anyone seeing the used tampon because the bag is not see-through. Make sure to empty out the garbage bin regularly.
Are Tampons Harmful?
Tampons are not harmful but they can become harmful if not used as directed. In the United States tampons are classified as medical devices. Thus they are regulated by the government body known as FDA (The Food and Drug Administration).
The FDA thoroughly evaluates the materials used to make the tampons and applicators. Only when the tampons comply with FDA requirements are they marked safe to use.
In some rare cases the use of tampons can lead to toxic shock syndrome (TSS) which can be fatal. TSS is a bacterial infection that can cause severe organ damage.
To avoid the risk of toxic shock syndrome:
1. Do not use tampons that have high absorbency.
2. Do not leave the tampon inside you for prolonged periods of time.
3. Always follow instructions as directed by the FDA and manufacturers of the tampons.
Some women have also reported they forget they have a tampon inside of them and insert another one. Though this is rare it can be harmful. Always apply caution and only use tampons as described.
If you have any problems or specific questions always seek professional medical advice.
Are you still a Virgin if you use Tampons?
Despite rumors and old wives tales tampons do not make you lose your virginity. It is true that using a tampon may stretch or tear your hymen but this does not mean you are no longer a virgin.
In Islam the only way to lose your virginity is having penetrative intercourse with a male.
However, I do understand that some Muslim cultures see hymen as the only proof of a woman’s virginity. Therefore, Muslim sisters may choose not to use tampons based on cultural requirements. And that is understandable. This is discussed in detail in the next section below ‘If Tampons are not Haram why do Muslim Women avoid using them?‘
Even from a medical standpoint you are still a virgin if your hymen is broken but you’ve never had intercourse with a man.
According to the doctor-reviewed physicians at Kids Health:
“Even though using a tampon can occasionally cause a girl’s hymen to stretch or tear, it does not cause a girl to lose her virginity. (Only having sex can do that.)”
So both from an Islamic and medical standpoint using a tampon does not make you a non-virgin.
In fact, according to the reputable health experts at ‘Healthline’. There are many everyday activities that can cause a woman’s hymen to break or wear down. These include bicycle riding, horseback riding and even exercising etc.
This does not mean that a woman is no longer a virgin if she rides a bicycle and ends up tearing her hymen. That would be ludicrous.
If Tampons are not Haram why do Muslim Women avoid using them?
Tampons are not haram in Islam at most they may be considered Makruh (disliked). Despite tampons being halal to use Muslim women choose not to use them. This is because there are many cultural taboos in Muslim societies around the use of tampons. Because of this a sister may be looked down upon and shamed for using a tampon.
It’s also possible that using a tampon may break your hymen. In many Muslim cultures a young woman would not be considered a virgin if her hymen is not intact before marriage. Despite the fact that from an Islamic perspective she would still be considered a virgin. Breaking the hymen by using a tampon would not be classified losing one’s virginity in Islam.
As much as scholars would like educate the entire Muslim nation about what is halal and haram. It is not possible to change the mindset of the people and cultures that have passed down over centuries. This would take many years of education and cultural re-programming. Which is what we here at Muslimversity strive to achieve. We provide authentic Islamic knowledge from the Quran and Sunnah without cultural baggage. But unfortunately there is no easy overnight fix to this problem.
At the end of the day every individual has to live in their own societies and face their own cultural baggage. Unfortunately there is a possibility that using a tampon may break your hymen. And in many Muslim communities this may lead to shaming and raise questions about a woman’s chastity.
So my advice to sisters who are not married is protect your own sanity and do not use tampons if it will lead to shaming. You know your cultures best and so this is a decision you will have to make.
Tampons vs Pads – A Safer Alternative to using Tampons
Tampons and pads both have their pros and cons. Depending on your personal preference and flow of blood you may want to switch between the two in a 24 hour period.
Let’s do a comparison between tampons vs pads:
Pads are rectangular and have an adhesive side which you stick to the inner side of your underwear.
Tampons are cylindrical in shape with absorbent material that contains the blood.
Pads form an absorbent padding between your clothes and the flow of blood at the opening of your vagina. Pads are not inserted in the vagina.
Tampons are inserted in the vagina and absorb blood within the vagina.
Tampons can be very helpful for women on heavy periods because they are inside the vagina. Tampons absorb the blood inside the vagina and so there is very little mess to deal with.
Pads are not inserted inside the vagina so all the blood drains down the vagina and collect in the pad. This can get very messy if a woman is heavy on her period.
Tampons should be replaced 6 to 8 hours else there is a risk of bacterial infection such as toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Pads have close to no risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS).
Always follow the advice by the manufacturers and consult your physician.
Since it is not wise to leave tampons in for long periods of time especially when you’re sleeping. Most women use tampons in the day and make use of pads during the night.
Are Menstrual Cups Haram?
Menstrual Cups are not haram in Islam. There is no sin for using menstrual cups during your menstruation period. But some Muslim sisters may choose not to use Menstrual Cups based on cultural taboos around it’s use.
The ruling on using menstrual cups is the same as using tampons. If it’s medically safe for you to use menstrual cups then you can use them.
Can I Pray on my Period in Islam?
You cannot pray on your period. There are certain acts of worship that are prohibited during menstruation. Such as praying the five daily prayers.
These acts of worship are prohibited because menstrual blood is unclean in Islam. It is not because menstruation is shameful or that the woman herself is unclean.
When the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) would get their menses he did not distance himself from them. Rather he would lie under the same sheet and showed them love and cared for them.
The evidence for this is found in the hadith narrated by Umm Salama:
While I was laying with the Prophet (peace be upon) under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, “Have you got “Nifas” (menses)?” I replied, “Yes.” He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet.
[Sahih al-Bukhari • Book 6, Hadith 5 • Graded Sahih (Authentic)]
Allah has made praying on periods forbidden as a Mercy and concession. We should thank Allah for his concessions and be grateful by saying Alhamdulillah.
Tampons are not haram. There is no sin for using tampons. But some women may want to be cautious of how tampons are perceived in their society and refrain from using them to avoid shaming.
The blood that is emitted from the private area of a woman during menstruation is impure in Islam. Purity is half of faith so it is important that a Muslim woman makes sure this blood is contained properly.
Menstruation is a natural process which Allah has ordained for all women. There is nothing shameful about it. Even the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) experienced menstruation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) showed care and concern to them through their menses.
‘Aisha said, “We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj. When we reached Sarif, (a place six miles from Mecca) I started my menstruation. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) came to me while I was weeping. He said ‘What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses?‘ I replied, ‘Yes.’
He said, ‘This is a thing which Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of the Tawaf (Circumambulation) round the Ka`ba.”
[Sahih al-Bukhari • Book 6, Hadith 1 • Graded Authentic (Sahih)]
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