Woman talking(L+r), Tampax box(c)

The Image Party/Shutterstock @realmelissasimo/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Yes, they have shrunk’: Woman calls out Tampax for insisting its tampons have not shrunk in size. She has photo evidence

‘We would know!’


Melody Heald


Recently, a controversy has been brewing over whether Tampax has shrunk its menstrual products. Initially, Melissa Simonson’s (@realmelissasimo) original video amassed 3.6 million views where she blasted Tampax for allegedly downsizing their products. And she’s not backing down, insisting the company has shrunk its tampons by showing photo evidence of old tampons.

“Do you have any old tampons?” she starts her recent video with over 5,300 views while applying her makeup.

Because of the uproar her original TikTok stirred, People Magazine and Tampax’s spokesperson publically denied it.

“They quickly got People Magazine to put out an article,” Simonson says. “The actual spokesperson said that the FDA hasn’t changed their regulations for the requirements for absorbancy but did not say anything about whether they had changed [anything].”

When the content creator unveiled two photos of different tampons, the old one on the left was larger than the new one on the right. 

Thus, Simonson urges viewers to search for old tampons and see for themselves.

“We all have our stash that we keep somewhere,” she says. “I need you to go look there, please.” However, for those who don’t have a menstrual cycle, she asks them to share the video to spread awareness.

“Can you please just share this so we can find the people who do have those and we can show them this,” she says, gesturing to the photo. “Yes, they have.”

@realmelissasimo Shame 👏 on 👏 you 👏 @Tampax US! #corporategreed #shrinkflation #shrinktok #groceryshopping #marketing ♬ original sound – Melissa Simonson

Simonson reiterates this in the caption, “PLEASE push this so that those people who might have forgotten that one box in the garage from 10 years ago can see this and we can get them to stop gaslighting us en masse!”

According to Very Well Health, there are five different absorbency levels. Light tampons absorb 6 grams of menstrual blood or less, Regular (6 to 9 grams), Super (9 to 12 grams), Super plus (12 to 15 grams), and Ultra (15 to 18 grams.)

@realmelissasimo PLEASE push this so that those people who might have forgotten that one box in the garage from 10 years ago can see this and we can get them to stop gaslighting us en masse! 🙌🏻♥️ #groceryshopping #shrinkflation #shrinktok #corporategreed #gaslighting ♬ original sound – Melissa Simonson

The Daily Dot reached out to Simonson via Instagram direct message and TikTok comment as well as Tampax via contact form.

Viewers have also noticed tampons shrinking

“I just had a baby, obv didn’t need tampons for a while. I noticed!” one viewer wrote.

“They (100%) have. I straight stopped using them because they stopped being adequately functional,” a second shared.

“They have gotten smaller! I definitely have had to change more often because of this! like every hour or 2 instead of 4+ hours. been using for 20+ years,” a third agreed.

In addition, others have noted more menstrual products and brand shrinkage.

“I swear pads are getting smaller too. I have noticed specifically always infinity overnight that the back are is smaller! Also their wings are smaller and have less adhesive,” one user commented.

“I used the same brand for dozens of years and had to change to Cora because my old brand was clearly shrinking [their] sizes as well,” a second stated.

What did Tampax have to say?

A spokesperson from Tampax told People Magazine, “Tampons are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and adhere to industry absorbency or size ranges as listed on the side of each package. The FDA absorbency ranges have not changed since its introduction more than 30 years ago.” On the other hand, Tampax revamped its tampon design for the first time in decades in 2023 to absorb fluids better.

Redditors also weigh in

Despite Tampax’s statement, even Redditors disagreed with it. User BomberGirl_576 posted in a subreddit titled “shrinkflation.” Throughout the 15 years of having a period, they’ve never had a tampon fall out until now. However, they weren’t alone.

“Thank you for posting this. I thought it was just me that noticed something was off. I bled through a regular tampon for the first time in my life and I thought something was wrong with me. These companies are so scummy,” one Redditor said.

“Ok I had to start buying Ultras and was worried about why I was so heavy. This explains it,” a second concurred.

“They are. I used to use 3 super Tampons during the heaviest part of my period, now I have to use at least 3 super PLUS, sometimes 4 or 5,” a third remarked.

Update 2:32pm CT, July 19: During an interview with the Daily Dot, Simonson shared how she found out about this. Previously, she would have many accidents and embarrassing moments despite wearing the same size tampons for years.

“I was on a roadtrip and a couple hours into the drive I felt my tampon fail me and I knew I needed to pull over and assess the damage. The ‘Super +’ I was using should have lasted 4 or more hours, but instead, ruined my pants and I had to put a bunch of paper towels on my seat and clean that later too,” she shared via Instagram direct message.

In addition, she noticed people using their examples of tampons shrinking.

“I didn’t quite put it together at that time, but it was weird and upsetting. I saw other people’s examples of the tampons side-by-side and finally checked mine. Sure enough- it’s easy to see they’re obviously smaller to the eye. They’re also much less absorbent. They used to expand out when they absorbed liquid. Now they stay the same shape & size like a cork you’re shoving up there,” she said.

What made the content creator post these video was to stand up for the every day consumer.

So what made her want to post about this?

“No one is standing up for everyday consumers. Tons of lobbyists and politicians are standing up for and defending these big corporations and their bad behavior, but the stuff they’re doing is behavior I wouldn’t accept from my small children. My kids know better than to lie or intentionally hide the truth! But not only do these corporations go to great lengths to continue deceptive marketing practices, they lobby against any and all regulation that would protect the consumers, and they gaslight the public and use their marketing to ridicule, discredit and silence anyone who speaks out about it,” she said.

Also, she encouraged people to look for old tampons to compare because Tampax still denies changing their sizes.

“I’ve asked for people to send me their old tampons because Tampax has doubled down on their gaslighting and it’s insulting to all of the women who have used these products and who have eyes (and vaginas). We know something has changed and we’re sick of being told we’re the problem. I’m assuming that whatever changed is just barely squeaking by the rules and regulations so they’re technically still within the absorbency ranges indicated by the FDA to protect themselves from legal action, but that’s not the same as what they’re trying to imply, which is that they haven’t changed in 30 years,” she shared.

Moreover, Simonson found the P&G statement odd.

“And the FDA didn’t actually deny anything. Neither did P&G. All P&G said was that the FDA hasn’t changed their regulations in 30 years, which is a weird flex since it means no one is researching women’s health or keeping regulations current with the science if they are researching,” she stated. “Pointing to the fact that the FDA hasn’t changed their regulations in 30 years is a red herring meant to imply that P&G/Tampax has not changed anything about their tampons in 30 years, but that’s not what they actually said and that’s certainly not true.” 

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