A tampon is one of the most convenient menstrual products on the market. If you're just getting used to your period , the thought of inserting a tampon into your vagina can be intimidating. But tampons are a very popular way to control your menstrual flow . You just need to understand how they work and be comfortable with the idea of using them.
Tampons absorb menstrual blood during menstruation from the inside before it exits the vagina. The convenience of tampons has been recognized for centuries. In fact, it is believed that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use tampons to control the menstrual cycle. Historical records suggest that these original tampons were made from softened papyrus.
Parts of a tampon
Tampons usually have several parts:
- Plunger Applicator
- Absorbing portion of blood
- The string to remove
Not all tampons come with applicators, but if you are new to tampons, the applicator can make it easier to insert them into the vagina.
The first few times you insert a tampon can be uncomfortable, but when inserted correctly, tampons can provide comfort and security. Some people also use a sanitary pad, panty liner, or absorbent underwear with a tampon for added protection against leaks.
What are they made of?
Tampons are usually made from pressed cotton, rayon, or a combination of both. The absorbent fibers used in the production of tampons are bleached without the use of chlorine.
They are single-use, which means they are thrown away after they have become saturated with menstrual blood. Tampon applicators can be made of cardboard or plastic. Make sure to remove the tampon applicator from the vagina after inserting the tampon.
Choose the correct size
Tampons come in a range of absorbency, from light to extra (heavy). When choosing the size of tampon to use, always choose the smallest absorbency necessary for your menstrual flow. Tampons need to be changed every four to eight hours, so if you can wear a tampon for eight hours or more, the absorbency is likely too high.
When you first start using tampons, it may be more convenient to start with a lightweight tampon or a regular tampon that is thinner. Most women need different sizes for the different days of their period, for example a regular size at the beginning and end of menstruation, and super or super plus on days with strong currents.
Never use a tampon for more than eight hours. For safety reasons, change your tampon at least every four to eight hours, even if it doesn't leak.
How to insert a tampon
Wash your hands before inserting the tampon to prevent harmful bacteria that may be on your hands from entering your vagina.
How to insert a tampon with the applicator
- Unwrap the swab and dispose of the wrapper in the trash can. Make sure the tampon string is secure by gently pulling on it.
- Before inserting the tampon, make sure it reaches the tip of the applicator by gently pressing the inner tube of the applicator until the tampon almost begins to come out of the applicator.
- Decide if you want to sit or stand while you insert the tampon. If you decide to sit down, the bathroom is a good place. If you prefer to stand while the tampon is inserted, place one foot on something with one leg higher than the other (the side of the tub is a good place to rest your foot).
- Hold the swab in the center, at the end of the outside of the applicator. Insert the tip of the tampon applicator into the opening of your vagina at an angle to your lower back. Move the tampon and applicator back until you feel the end of the applicator outer tube just at the entrance to the vaginal canal.
- Then, while holding the outer applicator tube, push the inner applicator tube into the vagina until the tampon is fully inserted and the ends of the inner and outer applicator tubes meet. For a correct insertion of the tampon, make sure that the two ends of the applicator are right at the opening of the vagina.
- Gently pull the applicator out of your vagina, making sure you can feel the string hanging from the bottom of the tampon.
- When you are ready to remove or replace your tampon, relax and gently pull the string attached to the end of the tampon until it pops out. Used swabs should be thrown in the trash, not down the toilet.
- Wash your hands after inserting or removing a tampon.
How to insert a tampon without an applicator
Some people may prefer to use applicatorless tampons because they use less plastic, are smaller, and easier to carry. Start by washing your hands and make sure the swab is completely sealed.
- Remove and dispose of the wrapper according to the package instructions and unfold the string.
- Place your index finger on the bottom of the swab and grasp the edges with your thumb and middle finger.
- Stand with one leg raised (put your foot on the toilet or bathtub) or sit on the toilet, take a deep breath and relax.
- With your free hand, gently grasp the skin around the opening of your vagina.
- Take a tampon and insert the entire length of your index finger into the vagina, pointing it toward the lower back.
- When the tampon is in the right place, you won't feel it. If so, push it a little more. Leave the rope hanging outside your body.
- Wash your hands after inserting or removing a tampon.
What if it is difficult?
The tampon should not be difficult to insert and should not cause discomfort when inserted correctly. Be sure to follow the tampon installation instructions that come with each package.
To improve your comfort, follow these tips:
- Relax. Try not to worry about inserting the tampon correctly the first time. If it is tight, insertion will be more difficult.
- The best time to practice tampon insertion is during the heavy part of the menstrual cycle. The tampon should slide easily over the vagina without any discomfort.
If the tampon is uncomfortable, it is probably not inserted deep enough into the vagina. Remove it and try again with a new swab.
Don't exercise when you don't have your period. Removing a dry swab can be extremely inconvenient.
If you feel like you need lubrication, use a small amount of water-based lubricant. Do not use petroleum-based products in your vagina because they can create an environment in which bacteria can grow.
A small number of people will continue to struggle with tampon insertion. If you cannot use the tampon due to a painful insertion, or if the process is still very difficult, you should discuss it with your doctor. You may have a small structural abnormality of the vagina called the vaginal septum. Or you may have a vaginal pain syndrome called vulvodynia that prevents you from using a tampon or having sex.
How do I know if I have inserted it correctly?
When the tampon is inserted correctly, you should not feel it. If installed incorrectly, you may feel discomfort or even pain. Make sure you insert the tampon at the correct angle and push it in deep enough.
What should I do with the rope?
The tampon string is critical for proper extraction. It should hang loosely outside your body so that you can remove the tampon easily. Do not put it in your vagina.
How to remove a tampon
When trying to remove a tampon, remember that you need to relax your pelvic floor muscles. Sitting on the toilet or standing with your foot on the edge of the tub are tricks that can make it easier to remove the tampon.
All tampons have a string at the end that you pull to remove the used tampon. Some people fear that the tampon will get lost in the vagina or slide into the uterus , but this cannot be the case.
Don't worry, tampons cannot get lost in the vagina or slip through the cervix into the uterus. The small cervical opening between the uterus and the vagina allows menstrual blood to pass into the vagina, but it is not large enough for the tampon to enter the uterus.
When should I remove it?
Tampons should be changed at regular intervals, but should never be left in for more than eight hours (even while sleeping). Never forget to remove the last tampon at the end of your period.
What if more than 8 hours have passed?
If you have fallen asleep or have forgotten your tampon for more than eight hours, the first thing to do is remove it immediately. If you have trouble removing your tampon, see your doctor. They will be able to help you eliminate it.
If you leave the tampon in for more than eight hours and you begin to experience signs of infection (such as fever, rash, headache, vomiting, or diarrhea), contact your doctor immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are tampons uncomfortable?
They shouldn't be there if they are inserted correctly. The key to comfortable and reliable protection during menstruation is correct tampon insertion. Don't worry if you don't succeed the first time; it may take several attempts before you feel comfortable.
If inserting a tampon is painful and leaving it painful, talk to your doctor. Some women with dyspareunia ( painful intercourse) may find it difficult to comfortably insert a tampon.
Can I urinate with a tampon?
Yes! The tampon is inserted into the vagina. Urine comes out of a smaller opening in the upper part of the vagina, known as the urethra , but not through the vagina itself. Both the vagina and the urethra are inside the vulva . The tampon does not block the flow of urine.
What happens if you leave the tampon in too long?
It is tempting to leave your tampon in for as long as possible, but you should never leave it in for more than eight hours. Because tampons clog the vagina and absorb menstruation, leaving them too long can create a breeding ground for bacteria that can cause infections. Storing tampons for too long also increases the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome , a rare complication of infection.
Can a tampon get lost in the vagina?
No, the tampon will not get lost inside you, even if the thread breaks. Tampons are inserted into the vagina and cannot penetrate deeper. At the top of the vaginal canal is the cervix, the narrow entrance to the uterus. Although the tampon can be pushed closer to the cervix, it will not pass. In very rare cases, when you cannot get the tampon, consult your doctor, who can remove it with a special tool.
Can I have sex with a tampon?
It is better not to enter the vagina with a tampon. Your partner's penis can force the tampon into your vagina and make it difficult to remove. Remove your tampon before intercourse.
Can I swim with a tampon?
Yes. If you like to swim, you can continue to do so even during your period by using a tampon. However, it is important to change your tampon immediately after swimming, even if it was short-lived. Typically, a tampon will absorb some water, making it less effective at absorbing menstrual flow, and may even allow bacteria to enter the vagina.
Are tampons dangerous?
If you decide to use tampons during your period, the most important thing to remember is to use tampons with adequate absorbency. This means using the tampon with the lowest absorbency for your flow. Standard absorbency guidelines are used for all tampons made in the United States.
Most people can safely use tampons during their reproductive years. However, not changing tampons often enough or using tampons with a higher absorption capacity than required can put you at risk for developing TSS, a rare and dangerous condition.
How long can the tampon be left in?
Tampons should be changed every four to eight hours. They should not be left on for more than eight hours.
What hole does the tampon fit into?
Tampons are inserted into the vagina.
Who Invented the Tampon?
The idea of using absorbent tampons in the vagina to absorb secretions or administer medications dates back centuries. However, the first patent for an applicator tampon was awarded to Chicago physician Earl Cleveland Haas in 1931.
How to get a tampon without string?
In the rare event that your tampon does not have a string, or if the string moves within your body and you cannot find it, you can still remove the tampon with your fingers. After washing your hands, take the position where you insert the tampon. Relax your muscles, gently slide into your vagina, and see if you can remove the tampon with your fingers. Try not to push it further into the vagina.
Pressing down, like in a bowel movement, can help bring the tampon closer to the vaginal opening, if necessary. If you can't remove your tampon, see your doctor right away. Remember not to leave the tampon in for more than eight hours.
How much menstrual flow does a super tampon handle?
Super Absorbency Tampons are designed to absorb 9-12 grams of menstrual fluid.
Get the word of drug information
There are many myths and misinformation about the use of tampons during menstruation. But the bottom line is that when used correctly, tampons are an effective and highly convenient way to control your menstrual flow.
While you have options, tampons do have some advantages over sanitary pads. Without a large sanitary pad, tampons can help some people feel more comfortable, especially when playing sports, swimming, or wearing tight clothing.