So, you have never heard of menstrual cups or just don’t like them (or maybe you find them gross!), and you want to use tampons, but you are not sure how to go about it. You may be holding the tampon for the first time in your hand wondering how to insert a tampon.
Well, first of all, tampons – unlike menstrual cups or period cups, are disposable products used to absorb your menstrual flow. They are made of soft cotton pressed together to form a bell-like shape, so that they can be inserted into the opening of the vagina. A tampon absorbs menstrual flow, or blood, before it has a chance to leave the body. Tampons come in various sizes and absorbency and can be purchased at most supermarkets, pharmacies and convenience stores.
If you are currently using tampons, I urge you to consider switching to reusable menstrual cups. A menstrual cup offers superior protection, is safe, and ecologically friendly. Most popular brands include Divacup, Mooncup, the Keeper and Lunette.Buy a menstrual cup HERE
Follow these simple steps to easily insert a tampon.
How to insert a tampon
Inserting a tampon may seem awkward and uncomfortable especially for girls and women who try to use it for the first time. You may a little feel nervous about inserting a tampon for the first time.
If you are learning on your own, follow these instructions to have a positive experience:
Select and purchase the correct type type of tampon. Tampons fall in two main categories: by type of applicator and absorbency. Initially you may want to start with the applicator variety, as it is easier to use.
Tampons also come in different absorbency levels and you should buy tampons that are appropriate to your menstrual flow: light, average or heavy. Use the super tampons only when your flow is at its heaviest, and purchase a variety pack until you find what works for you.
Wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after insertion.
- Prepare the tampon by removing it from the wrapper. Depending on the type you purchased you may have to extend the applicator for use (follow the instructions on the box).
- Sit or stand in a comfortable position. Some women prefer to place one leg on the toilet seat or tub, while others prefer to squat down.
- Hold the tampon with your fingers in the middle of the applicator and the tampon string pointing away from your body. Position the tampon at the entrance to your vagina. You may have to pull back the folds of the labia.
- Gently slide the applicator a few inches into the vagina (tampon side in), following the angle of your body, until your fingers meet your vagina, and the outer tube is completely inside you.
- Be sure to relax! The more you relax, the easier the insertion will be. When you are nervous, your muscles tense up, making insertion more difficult. Try different positions until you find one that is easy and comfortable.
- Push the inner part of the applicator tube into the outer end while holding the outer end still. This pushes the tampon inside your vagina.
- Be sure that you push it all the way until the applicator stops. If the tampon feels uncomfortable, you may not have inserted it all the way into your vagina and you will need to remove it and try again with a new tampon.
- Slide the applicator out, while making sure the string is hanging outside the vagina. The string will be used to remove the tampon.
- Wrap the applicator in toilet paper and throw it in a garbage can. Do not flush it down the toilet!
- Tampons can be disposed of by throwing them in the garbage or flushing down the toilet. However, flushing Tampax Pearl tampons is not recommended for septic systems.
There you have it! Remember the more you do it, the easier and faster it becomes.
Tips For Using Tampons
- You shouldn’t be able to feel the tampon inside your body. If you can, you may not have inserted it far enough. Remove it and try again with a new tampon. Try inserting the applicator a little further into the vagina before pushing the inner tube of the applicator into the outer tube.
- You may not be successful on the first few tries. Relax and use a new tampon to try again.
- Use a small amount of petroleum jelly if the tampon does not go in easily.
- Tampon packages have directions inside. Read all of the warnings and advice that are located on the tampon instruction sheet.
- Change your tampon every 4-8 hours, or more often, to avoid leakage.
- If you have any questions or concerns, contact your doctor or other health care professional before engaging in any activity related to health and diet. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.
Important Warning about Toxic Shock Syndrome and Tampons
Leaving a tampon for more than six hours is not healthy. It can cause a toxic syndrome. Sanitary towels should also be changed regular according to circumstance.
Learn about Toxic Shock Syndrome on the insert that comes with tampons to reduce your risk for contracting this disease.
If you experience the following symptoms while wearing a tampon, remove the tampon, and contact your health care provider immediately! These symptoms may seem similar to the flu. If they occur while you are menstruating and wearing a tampon, they may signal TSS. Otherwise, it might mean that you have another infection. It is recommended that you see your health care provider regardless. Symptoms of TSS include:
- Sudden high fever
- A sunburn-like rash
- Dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness
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