A tampon is a feminine hygiene product used to stop the menstrual flow during a woman’s monthly cycle. A tampon is a plug of soft, absorbent material inserted into the vagina to absorb blood before it leaves the body, thereby helping a woman stay cleaner during her period. There has been some concern as to whether virgins should use tampons and whether inserting a tampon into a virgin’s body can break the hymen, destroying the evidence of her virginity. Every woman’s body is different, and the hymen can be broken in many ways through accidents, playing rough sports, or medical exams. Although tampon use can result in a torn hymen, there is no proof that tampons routinely break the hymen.
However, even if a virgin’s hymen is broken by a tampon, she is still a virgin and is not, in any way, sexually impure. The presence of an intact hymen is not the only proof of a woman’s purity. Purity is a matter of the heart (see Matthew 5:8). If a Christian woman can wear tampons without guilt, then there is no reason why she should refrain. However, if it is a matter of conscience, or if she wants to save any exploration of her body for her wedding night, then it is fine to abstain from using them.
For a married woman, her hymen has already been broken, so that aspect of the decision is no longer a factor. For women who have already had sex outside of marriage but have since committed themselves to purity until their wedding day, the use of tampons may be symbolic to her of her immorality, and for that reason she may choose to keep that part of her body off-limits, even to herself. But for young girls and virgins, tampons introduce the idea of inserting something into the vagina, and many women feel uncomfortable with the concept. That is perfectly understandable, and a girl or woman should not feel embarrassed or ashamed if she chooses not to use tampons.
Romans 14 instructs us in how to deal with controversial and doubtful subjects. Verse 5 says that each person “should be fully convinced in their own mind.” When a woman has committed herself to Christ, she can make confident decisions about her body because her heart is set to please Him. She can even ask the Lord if it is permissible to try tampons and then move ahead with whatever she believes is pleasing to Him. But if something about the whole concept bothers her conscience, she doesn’t need to pray about it. God has already given her His answer.
God’s answer concerning tampons for one woman may not be His answer for her friend or sister or cousin. So, as in all disputable matters, through prayer and seeking the Lord, we should be fully convinced in our own minds about what God would have us do, and we also should be careful not to judge others who see it differently. Romans 14:4 warns us that, in extra-biblical issues such as this, where there is no clear instruction from God’s Word, we should allow others the same freedom that God allows us: to seek Him, obey Him, and be fully convinced that we are in the center of His will.