Can Airport Scanner See Tampons

If by any chance you have to fly, and it’s that time of the month, you must be worrying whether the Airport body scanners can get you flagged or see tampons.

No need to be worried or annoyed with the screening process, but when on period, you may have to experience some trouble at Airport as the scanners can detect something in your genitals area that may lead to further investigation.

Can Airport Scanner See Tampons?

Airport scanners, like backscatter scanners, can see inside the body but are banned and replaced with millimeter scanners that cannot see inside the body but clothes, and trigger alarms only for hidden firearms or drugs so they can detect concealed items like tampons or menstrual cups. Agents only see a vague genderless figure of a passenger walking through the security scanner, so security is not compromised. Still, the genital area is highlighted with a yellow box leading to further investigation.

Can Airport Scanner See Tampons

Why Are Airport Scanners Unable to see Tampons?

To understand that, you must know the type of scanners because there are specific scanners for specific tasks; therefore, it’s essential to know the difference between them.

For example, there are backscatter scanners, millimeter wave scanners, handheld metal detectors, transition scanners, cabinet x-ray scanners, luggage scanners, and ionizing radiation machines.

From these scanners, the backscatter and the Millimeter wave scanners are used for the used for scanning passengers at Airport security checkpoints.

By the way, the history of backscatter scanners is not bright because they use low-energy x-ray ionization radiation to scan the body and draw the body on the screen so that the details are intimate and explicit. Due to these revealing details, the passengers felt their privacy was being invaded, so TSA sacked these scanners.

On the other hand, Millimeter wave scanners use non-ionizing electromagnetic waves, which have less frequency, even less than a cell phone data transmitter that poses no health risks; on display, the scanners show only a vague genderless representation in the shape of a cartoon-like avatar. A TSA agent cannot even differentiate between a man and a woman. 

So, there is no penetration inside the body, so the scanner cannot detect or see tampons inside the body.

Can Airport Scanners See Menstrual Cups?

Many passengers ( ladies only ) shared their opinions on different forums about passengers asking the women if they had detected something on them, especially near the genitals area. 

Not only were women with tampons inserted or menstrual cups asked for further inspection, even women with implants, silicon butt pants, pads, or undergarments like panties or bras were asked to get to the side.

Some said they would strip you naked or do a cavity search even if you tell them you are on period or wearing a big pad with too much blood.

Regarding scanners, the backscatter and Millimeter-wave scanner cannot see inside the body or particular body parts like the fanny or uterus. Still, some passengers noted a yellow box around their sensitive areas on the scanner screen.

Even though there are reports that women with menstrual products were forced for invasive body searches, there have also been cases where people were caught with dangerous things inserted in their private parts.

Although TSA agents ask you to go inside the room for a private inspection, many women are afraid of sexual abuse. 

One passenger shared her story that a TSA agent pushed her flat hand into the crack of her butt, sliding forward to her thighs into the labial area, which was intolerable for her. Even passengers looking at her got annoyed and uncomfortable by this act.

Although the scanner shows only the outline of the human body, there is still some technology that can quickly detect urinary inconvenience pads or maxi pads, and your pelvic area would light up on the scanner. 

Why Passengers have Pulled Aside when wearing Tampons

You have to understand the differences when a detector detects something and a sensor seeing something.

The whole body cannot see inside the body like a medical x-ray scanner. Still, they can detect abnormal items on your body or conceal them under clothes.

The weird thing could be your pads, clitoral hood piercing, thick clothes, metal wire in your panties, sequins, or stitching on your underwear.

Sometimes, sweaty armpits, blood on the bad, or higher-than-normal moisture on your body can get you flagged, and the agent may pull you aside for further inspection and screening.

So if you trigger an alarm each time you go through the scanner, then do know that the scanner may have detected something on your body; if the detector sets off for no reason for your body, then you should consider talking with your gynecologist if there are scar tissues causing the scanner to alert you when you pass.

Can Airport Scanner See Tampons in Your Bags?

Wearing a tampon and having one in your bag are different things, and you should also know the difference between the scanners that scan your body and your luggage or purse.

The body scanner can detect the tamp, as we have discussed. Anything in your genitals can set off the scanner.

But the luggage scanner works differently than a body scanner. The luggage scanner can see all the items and contents in your bag, and the screen shows everything inside the bag. The x-rays shadows cast help the scanner to determine the dimensions and density of the object to form a shape; The composition is represented by different colors like blue, red, and orange. 

The scanner will show orange for organic contents like food, paper, or drugs, and the agent can ask you to open the purse if he suspects anything suspicious.

So tampons may be visible on the screen, but the agent may not ask you to show what it is unless it seems a dangerous item.

Suppose you wonder why these scanners are invasive. In that case, you must know where this scanners feature helps agents keep the Airlines safe.

Because nasty people would hide explosives or drugs under their clothes, even if they would swallow drugs or contraband, and that’s why aviation security screening scanners have to be advanced to handle such threats.

Can Airport Scanners See you Naked?

Well, the ability to see passengers naked was only in the backscatter scanner,, which is no longer used at Airport security checkpoints. Images taken with the backscatter scanner were too revealing and explicit or intimate to the extent that TSA agents would share them , violating passengers’ privacy rights.

The image below shows a female TSA scan.

TSA scanner female scan

The millimeter scanner is an alternative scanner that is much safe than a backscatter scanner but shows a vague genderless cartoon-like avatar of passengers to agents, which means you are not demonstrated naked. Your private body parts are not even highlighted. Even the agent cannot differentiate between a man and a woman passing through the scanner with that representation.

The image below shows the Millimeter scanner scan.

Millimeter wave scanner image

You can either opt for TSA pre-check to eliminate the screening process even when you have periods or insert tampons in your fanny. Otherwise, you may have to go through the tedious process of searching if the scanner detected something on you, like Tampons or menstrual cups.

If you are afraid that you will be flagged and annoyed with the tap-down search, make sure you follow all the protocols when you leave your home and be prepared like do not wear body jewelry before the screening process and remove items like rings, braces, watch, piercings if you can, nose pins, hair pins.

Scanners can sometimes be setofff due to medical devices like pacemakers, knee or hip implants, sweaty armpits, or even higher-than-average body pictures.


All in all, Airport scanners cannot see tampons, but they can detect items on your body; if agents are suspicious of you, they can tap down the search. Groping in front of others can be traumatizing, so better ask them to take you somewhere private to inspect your intimate body parts.

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