Moldy Tampon Takes Period Ick Factor to Whole New Level

OMG 50

moldy tamponTampon of Terror!Okay, when I find a teensy spot of mold on a loaf of bread, I bring it back to the grocery store and demand a refund. If I opened up a brand-new tampon and found it covered in staggeringly horrific mold splotches, I'd ... I'd ... well, I'd be permanently scarred, I can tell you that much.

Or maybe I'd do what Danielle, the woman who actually had this unfortunate experience, did: She took a picture of the Tampon of Terror and posted it on her blog, then sent a complaint email to Kotex. Because this was a big deal! Especially when you consider what could've happened ...

As Danielle pointed out in her post:

And to think, if I hadn't accidentally popped half the tampon out of the applicator while I was getting it out of the packaging, I would have NEVER KNOWN. I am freaked right out! Makes you wonder how many times things like this happen to tampons and we don't have a clue.

Gah! It does make me wonder, and I don't want to wonder! And the response Kotex sent back to Danielle doesn't help matters much:

We understand how distressing it can be to find mold on a product that is used for personal hygiene and apologize for your concern. In instances where it has been found, we conducted tests on the product involved and have found the mold to be a common environmental species that carries no health risk. The vegetative mold is similar in nature to mold on vegetables or in baked goods.

Um ... no health risk?! Simply being exposed to mold environmentally or eating moldy food can cause yeast infections -- what do they think actually sticking a moldy object inside one's lady parts is going to do?!?!?!

Oh, but it gets better. This is my favorite part of the Kotex response:

With the hope that you will continue to use SECURITY tampons with confidence, we are sending you some coupons through the mail for your use on future purchases.

Maybe they should've sent her some coupons for Monistat instead.

Gross. I'm guessing this doesn't happen all that often, but the fact that it happened at all is disconcerting, to say the least. Maybe not enough to give up tampons entirely, but definitely enough to give up Kotex.

Does this story make you think twice about tampons?


Image via parrforthecourse

health products, menstruation


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

jkm89 jkm89

Moldy tampons, barf. What is this diva cup you ladies speak of? Must google.

cek302 cek302

two words (pick your preference): DIVA CUP or LUNA PADS!! ewwwwww


nonmember avatar Renee

This is why I'm glad I switched to the Diva Cup. If the Diva Cup won't work for you, there are plenty of other menstrual cup brands you can try. Anything is better than running the risk of TSS or moldy tampons.

nonmember avatar Emme

Now I'm terrified.

And my go-to brand is (no, scratch that, WAS) Kotex.

nonmember avatar len

Kotex's response is basically "we don't give a crap". Boycotted.

Bunny... BunnyplusMason

I use the Instead SoftCup and I love it. I am so glad I switched.

Za245 Za245

I haven't used a tampon in over 2 years because they make me uncomfortable since I gave birth. I was thinking of trying the Diva cup after this pregnancy is done and frankly, this article just made my decision much, much easier!

nonmember avatar Julia Schopick

What an awful thing to have happen. Kudos to Danielle for going public about it. Just as upsetting as the fact that she found mold in a tampon is the company's response to her. But there are other little-known risks associated with these synthetic disposable menstrual products. One risk -- still! -- is Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

I recently interviewed a survivor of this deadly disease -- Suzan Hutchinson -- for, the website of The Keeper and Moon Cup reusable menstrual cups. Susan is now a spokesperson for, an organization dedicated to educating women about the fact that Toxic Shock is still a threat, especially to younger women.

There are other options out there that women can use. One is reusable menstrual cups; another is reusable cotton menstrual pads. Both are also environment-friendly and pocketbook-friendly, because they are not tossed away after a single use. And as far as I know, there have been no cases of MOLD associated with either one of these options.

To listen to the interview with Suzan, please go to

Thanks so much.
Julia Schopick
Marketing Director
The Keeper, Inc.

11-20 of 50 comments First 12345 Last