Mom Slammed for Not Allowing Daughter To Use Tampons Until She's 18

A mom has sparked controversy and concern after it was revealed she forbade her 15-year-old daughter from using tampons until she is 18.

Controlling parents are nothing new in the world of social media, with stories about moms refusing to let their teenage kids drive after dark or dads demanding access to their kids' phones hitting the headlines in recent months.

However, one strict mother appears to have taken the concept to a whole new level if an account posted to Reddit by her teenage daughter is to be believed. In a post that has racked up over 11,000 interactions, the girl explained: "My mom has had a rule that I'm not allowed to use tampons until I am 18."

According to the teenager, though her mom is an atheist she was "raised Catholic" and has "the same views on periods as very religious people," some of whom are opposed to sex before marriage and incorrectly believe using a tampon impacts the hymen. "She also thinks that if I use a tampon once, I will die from toxic shock syndrome," she added.

Last summer, the girl managed to convince her mom to let her buy a box—but it came with "strings attached." She explained: "I could only use them when I went swimming."

As a result of her mom's strict rules, the teen had been forced to "hide them really well in a garbage can" and had kept more boxes at her dad's house.

The girl, who turns 16 in a few months, was keen to stress that her use of tampons is not born out of spite. "I personally prefer using tampons to pads because they are way more comfortable," she explained.

However, her mom recently discovered the truth about her tampon use and "yelled" at her "for going behind her back" with it. The post sparked anger online, with Quadruplicate calling her mother's behavior "really dumb" while Flaky_Tip wrote: "nobody should have to negotiate their right to use whatever hygiene products they want."

Lovebeach8 said: "Your mom needs to realize that it's your personal decision and to let it go. 16 is old enough for this type of thing." Renha27 said her age was irrelevant. "However old a girl is when she gets her period is old enough to choose what product to manage it with," they wrote. Princessvespa42 added: "It's your period, you get to handle it however you like."

Foxscribbles was one of several users to hit out at the girl's mom for trumpeting "cobbled together misinformation that's been handed down over time" and simply "doesn't make sense."

As the Center for Young Women's Health explains: "Even if you're a virgin (you've never had vaginal intercourse), you may use tampons. Tampons don't change your hymen (the skin that partly covers the opening to your vagina). Remember, you're a virgin until you have sexual intercourse."

Though toxic shock syndrome is something to be wary of, Amy W. Anzilotti, MD at Nemours KidsHealth says infections of this kind are "rare" and only occurs if a tampon is left in for too long. She recommends changing them "at least every four to six hours, even if your period is light."

A new mom recently earned flack online after gatecrashing a bachelor party with a baby. Another mother, meanwhile, drew praise after taking the bold step of firing their nanny after they took a personal day on their first day in the role.

An older woman with a tampon.
Stock image of an older woman holding a tampon. A mother has been slammed for not allowing her daughter access to tampons. mheim3011/Getty