How to Insert a Tampon for the First Time

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Tampons are a safe and healthy alternative to pads and when used correctly can increase your mobility during your menstrual cycle, allowing you to swim, play sports and even help you feel less bulky and bloated. Trying a tampon for the first time can be a little scary, but if you relax and follow a few simple tips, you'll be able to comfortably transition into wearing tampons.

  • Tampons have come a long way in the last two decades, so it's important that you buy the perfect tampon for your body. Tampons come in all shapes, sizes and insertion textures, but for your first time, you should start with the smallest size on the market.

  • Choose a day during the heaviest point of your flow to try a tampon for the first time. This will allow the tampon to glide more easily into the vaginal canal.

  • Sit, stand or squat so that your legs are slightly spread. It is important to relax when your inserting a tampon, so make sure your are in a comfortable position and that you're not straining your vaginal muscles.

  • Hold the tampon like a pencil and place it at the vaginal opening at the back of the labia (the flaps of skin just in front of the vaginal canal). You might need a mirror to better see what you're doing. Insert the tampon by pushing gently toward the small of your back. Do not push directly up, the vaginal canal runs at a diagonal, so pushing up won't allow the tampon to move into place.

  • Push the tube until the first, outer tube (this is the larger of the two tubes), is almost all the way inside you. Now, use your index finger to push the smaller, inner tube (the smaller of the two), through the larger tube until the smaller tube is all the way inside the larger tube.

  • Now that the tampon has moved into the vaginal canal, you can remove both tubes by clasping the tube between your middle finger and thumb. Make sure the string is visible and hanging from the vaginal opening.

  • Once you've removed the applicator, you shouldn't feel anything. If it is painful or even a little bit uncomfortable, the tampon hasn't been inserted correctly and you should remove it and try again.

  • It may take more than one try to get the tampon in the right place, so don't get frustrated. If you've tried several times to no avail, take a break and allow your muscles to relax. If your feeling sore or irritated, stop and try again another day.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change your tampon at least every 4 to 8 hours.
  • Be sure to use the correct tampon absorbency. Use smaller sized tampons when your flow is lighter.
  • Always wash your hands before inserting or removing your tampon.
  • Don't use tampons to absorb anything other than your menstrual flow.
  • TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is an infection that is very rare, but potentially dangerous. Tampons themselves do not cause TSS, however, if a tampon is left inside your vagina for too long, it creates a perfect environment for different types of bacteria, including the one that causes TSS, to grow. To avoid developing TSS, follow the tips above.
  • A very small percentage of women, less that 2 percent, are born with a very small opening in their hymen and will not be able to insert a tampon. If this is the case, consult your healthcare provider.
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