How To Put In a Tampon! + DEMO!!!

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How to Use a Tampon

Four Parts:

Using a tampon for the first time can be confusing, especially if it is your first time dealing with a period, but don’t worry. It's simple once you get the hang of it.

Quick Summary

To insert a tampon, sit or squat on a toilet. Then, hold the tampon applicator between your thumb and middle finger so that your index finger is lightly resting on the applicator's thinner end. Insert the thicker end into your vagina, then press the thinner half of the applicator up with your index finger. Gently pull the applicator out of your vagina and dispose of it in the trash. Leave your tampon in for up to 8 hours.To learn how to remove a tampon, keep reading!

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Dispelling a Few Myths with the Facts

There are a lot of urban legends about using tampons, and you might have already heard some bad information on how to use them. Knowing the facts can dispel your fears or clear up any misunderstandings.

  1. Be reassured that a tampon will never get stuck or lost inside you.Honestly, there's nowhere for it to go! The cervix, at the end of the vagina, only has a tiny opening to allow blood through. You can always pull it out by the string, or reach in and grab it with your fingers if the string breaks.
    • Don't forget to remove all tampons by the end of your period, though!
  2. Be aware that you can still .Just gently lift the string so it is out of the way.
    • Alternatively, you can carefully tuck the string in, just so that it is out of the way when you pee. Tuck the string in shallowly, so that you can still feel it when you reach for it.
  3. Understand that using tampons doesn't make you lose your virginity.Contrary to one particularly unhelpful myth, using tampons doesnotmake you "lose your virginity." Tampons might stretch the hymen (the thin membrane that usually stretches when you have sex), butthe hymen should not tear.The hymen only partially covers the vaginal opening and is intended to stretch and bend. Even if your tampon use does stretch the membrane (which can happen during other activities, too, like frequent horse-riding), it doesn't mean you're not a virgin.
    • Another myth is that the hymen completely covers the vagina. Rest easy, your hymen does have an opening for tampon insertion and for your period to leave your body.
    • The hymen normally will expand if you relax, but if you force a tampon through it while tense, your hymen may rupture. This can happen while doing sports, too.
  4. If you sleep more than eight hours, use a pad overnight.That way, you don't have to worry about hopping out of bed early to change a tampon, or even risk Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare but serious medical condition that happens when the bacteriumStaphylococcus aureusgets into your bloodstream.

Before Insertion

  1. Buy tampons.As you've probably already seen in the grocery store, tampons come in a variety of types and sizes. Here's what's easiest for your first time:
    • Buy tampons with applicators. Tampons come in two basic types: with applicators, or a plastic tube that will help you push the tampon up into the vagina. Having the help of an applicator will make life easier when you're first learning, so choose a box that includes them. (In the U.S., O.B. is the primary brand that sells without applicators––most other brands have them.)
    • Pick the right absorbency. Absorbency is a measure of how much absorbent cotton is in the tampon, ranging from light to heavy.Most women use heavy absorbency tampons during the first day or two of their periods, when bleeding is heaviest, and transition to lighter ones toward the end.
    • If you're concerned about pain, though, try buying light absorbency tampons. You'll have to change them more frequently, but they'll be slimmer and more comfortable. A good beginning tampon is . You can also just get tampons. Using a smaller sized tampon at first will help you get used to inserting them and they will also be easier to take out. You can buy heavier tampons later if you discover light absorbency doesn't work for you.
    • If you have a heavy flow during the day, it may be handy to use a pantyliner or thin pad along with your tampon, in case the tampon overflows. Overflowing can happen even with heavy absorbency tampons, within 4 hours.
  2. Wash your hands.It might seem weird to wash your handsbeforeyou go to the bathroom, but it's a smart move in this case.Tampon applicators are sterile, and washing your hands keeps any infection-causing fungus or bacteria off them.
    • If you drop the tampon on the floor, throw it away. It's not worth saving a few cents or even a few dollars on a tampon if you have to go through an uncomfortable and painful infection.

Inserting the Tampon

  1. Sit on the toilet.Spread your knees farther apart than you usually might, so that you have maximum access and visibility while you figure this out, or you can squat and sit like a frog on the toilet seat.
    • Alternatively, you can stand to insert a tampon, placing one foot on a higher surface such as a toilet seat. If this works better for you, give it a shot. However, most women prefer sitting on the toilet so that any stray bleeding is contained.
  2. Find your vagina.This is the most common hurdle first-time tampon users run into, and it can seem really daunting. Once you figure it out, though, you're set for life! Here's how to make it a little easier:
    • Understand your anatomy. There are three openings: the urethra (where urine exits) at the front, the vagina in the middle, and the anus at the back.If you already know where your urethra is, feel an inch or two behind it to find the opening of the vagina.
    • Use the blood to guide you. This might sound weird, but it'll help if you're struggling. Wet a piece of toilet paper, and completely clean up all the menstrual blood in the area, from front to back (or hop in the shower and scrub down). Once everything is clear, dab yourself with a clean square of toilet paper until you find where the blood is coming from.
    • Ask for help. If you are really and truly lost, don't worry, as many girls before you have been here! Ask a trusted female relative––such as your mom, sister, grandma, aunt, or older cousin––to help you figure this out for the first time. Try not to feel embarrassed, and remember that every woman has been where you are now. You can also ask your doctor or nurse to help.
  3. Hold the tampon correctly.At the midpoint of the tampon, where the smaller tube of the applicator meets the larger tube, hold it between your thumb and middle finger. Place your index finger on the end of the applicator where the string comes out.
  4. Slowly insert the top, thicker half of the applicator into the vagina.Aim toward the small of your back, and push it up a few inches until your fingers are touching your flesh. Don't worry about getting your hands dirty––menstrual blood is actually pretty clean, as far as bacteria goes, and you can always rinse off when you're done.
  5. Press the thinner half of the applicator upward with your index finger.You should feel the tampon move a few more inches up inside of you. Stop when the thin portion of the applicator meets the thick portion.
  6. Pull out the applicator.Gently tug the applicator out of your vagina. Don't worry––you won't pull the tampon out with it if you've followed the instructions and inserted it fully. Once it's out, wrap it in the tampon wrapper or a piece of toilet paper, and throw it into the bin.
    • Never flush applicators— they can seriously damage plumbing.
  7. Check for comfort.You shouldn't be able to feel the tampon inside of you, and it shouldn't be uncomfortable. If it's painful to sit down or walk around, something's gone wrong; usually it's that the tampon isn't far enough up the vagina. Insert your finger inside the vagina until you feel the tampon. Push slightly, then do another walking test. If it still hurts, you inserted it wrong. Pull that one out, and try again with a fresh one.

Removing the Tampon

  1. Change out your tampon every four to six hours.You don't have to do this immediately as soon as four hours have passed, but try not to let it go for longer than six.
    • Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is an extremely rare but potentially fatal consequence of leaving a tampon in for too long. If you've accidentally left a tampon in for more than eight hours and you're suddenly experiencing a high fever, a sudden rash, or vomiting, pull out the tampon and get medical help immediately.
  2. Relax.Removing a tampon might seem painful, but it is not. Take a few deep breaths, loosen up, and remember that it's maybe going to be uncomfortable but not painful.
  3. Slowly tug the string at the end of the tampon.You might feel some slight friction from the cotton fibers as the tampon comes out, but it shouldn't be that painful.
    • If you're queasy at the thought of grabbing the string with your bare fingers, do it with a square of toilet paper.
    • If you do feel some catching and resistance as you pull the tampon out, it's probably because it's dry. Switch to a lighter absorbency to solve the problem. If it's too dry, use some water so that it does not stick.
  4. Dispose of the tampon.Some tampons are specifically designed to be flushable, so they spread apart and move easily through the pipes. However, if you're dealing with a low-flow toilet, a septic tank arrangement, or you know there have been problems with clogging in the past, it's safest to just wrap it in a wad of toilet paper and throw it away.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    I've been getting cramps, my breast are tender, and I want fudge and pickles. Do you think I started my period?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You would know if you started your period because you would see blood in your underwear or after using the bathroom. But those are all symptoms that your period will likely be coming soon.
  • Question
    Do tampons show through pants if they're not worn correctly?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Nope, nobody can see a tampon, even if it's not worn correctly. The only part of the tampon that isn't inside of you is the string, and that's not enough for anybody to notice.
  • Question
    If I do sports, how often should I change my pad?
    Top Answerer
    Change it once every 2-4 hours. Since you do sports you will sweat more, and you might trap more moisture than normal in the pad. You may need to change it more often than you normally would.
  • Question
    Do I wear a pad/tampon if I'm not on my period just in case I get it?
    Top Answerer
    NEVER wear a tampon if you are not having your period. Wear a panty liner or a thin pad instead if you're worried. Putting a tampon in when you are not on your period will dry you out and it will be painful to remove it.
  • Question
    I'm really not familiar with that area of my body, and I'm scared I'll insert it wrong! I'm also afraid of the discomfort of inserting it and pulling it out. How do I stop being afraid?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    First of all, get a hand mirror and familiarize yourself with "that area" of your body. It's yours and nothing to be freaked out about. Every woman has the same parts and has gone through learning to insert tampons. You'll find that there's really only one way for the tampon to go.
  • Question
    What if I don't expect my period and I'm not prepared?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Ask your friends if they have any pads or tampons to spare. if you are at school, you can ask a female teacher or the school nurse if she has any. You shouldn't feel embarrassed, all girls go through it.
  • Question
    How do you get toxic shock syndrome?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Toxic Shock Syndrome is caused by a rare but sometimes fatal bacterial infection. Reduce risk by changing tampons every four to eight hours, and using the lowest absorbency tampon that does the job. Go to the hospital right away if you leave a tampon in and experience fever, vomiting, dizziness, or an unexplained rash.
  • Question
    How do I know if pads or tampons are right for me?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try both. Try using pads, and then tampons. After experiencing each one, think about the pros and cons and then decide which one is right for you comfort. Don't be swayed by what your mom, siblings or friends prefer, this is about your own personal comfort. Make sure you try them during your period, because it will give you a different effect than not being on your period.
  • Question
    What if I have a pantyliner, but not a pad or tampon and I'm too scared to ask because they'll think I'm too young?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Puberty can start pretty early and adults, especially moms, understand. Once you've got your period, you're old enough, your body has made the choice. If you don't want to be so straightforward, maybe explain that you just want to be prepared and have some small tampons and pads ready just in case it starts unexpected (it always does). A mother should understand the wish to have some period supplies ready even if they stay unused for another year or so. Better be safe than sorry!
  • Question
    Is a tampon helpful in water?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes you can swim and go into the water with a tampon as all of the blood won't be coming out, so you won't leave a blood trail.
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  • If you have a male teacher (or you are not comfortable with saying something about your period), you can simply ask if you can use the restroom. No details are necessary. If they say "no" but you absolutely must change your pad/tampon, then say something like "Can I use the restroom for girl things/my period?" If they say no to that, you need to tell someone about that, and go anyway. Your hygiene and personal health is very important.
  • If you are at home and just find it too difficult to insert the tampon while on the toilet, give yourself a quick wipe and go lie down on your bed, with legs up against the wall. Then insert the tampon normally while aiming towards your back. This way is a lot easier, and it is also easier to push the tampon further inside your vagina too.
  • Don't worry, the string on a tampon does not break easily.
  • Adding a liner (a very small thin pad, often used for just in case, or very light bleeding) can stop small leaks without all the bulk of a normal sized pad.
  • Carry around a small bag with extra underwear and some pads and tampons and maybe a few wipes. This gives you options if the tampon is uncomfortable and if you leak.
  • Do not insert a tampon if your period is very light, as it will be more painful to get out.
  • If you can feel the tampon when you walk or sit down or if it is uncomfortable, go to the bathroom and push it up further. If it is still uncomfortable, then it isn't in right and should be taken out and disposed of correctly.
  • While you can use a tampon in your first period, it's probably best to wait 3 or 4 cycles if you can. This way you can see what your flow is like on average and not end up using a tampon too heavy or light. If you use a tampon for your first few periods, use the smallest size and check to see when it's ready to come out at hours 4, 6 and 8.
  • If you insert it and don't like the way it feels, don't retry the same one - use a new one.
  • Having your period and using tampons is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Irritation is not normal. Some tampons are bleached, so if you’re experiencing irritation, switch to menstrual cups or organic tampons, which may be more expensive but are non-irritating.
  • Take a mirror and look at your vagina; study the location. It will be easier to insert the tampon once you know where it is precisely.
  • If you feel that you are going to get your period, then wear darker clothes or use pad or tampon before wearing white.
  • Keep a few quarters on you. Most women's bathrooms have a tampon/pad dispenser.
  • Putting the tampon in may hurt at first so just stretch, breath slowly, and relax. This will loosen your muscles.
  • If you are just starting to use tampons or are nervous about leaks, start off with wearing a pad and tampon. This can prevent any leaks.
  • If you are about to don't be afraid to ask a few others if they have an extra tampon handy.
  • Don't feel like you need tampons. Pads or cups are okay too. Use whatever is most comfortable for you.
  • If you feel comfortable doing so, you could ask your trusted girl friend(s) to go to the bathroom with you, you will feel more comfortable that way.
  • Ask any older female relative for more useful tips. If you can't ask your mom, there are still older sisters, cousins, aunts and close friends to turn to.
  • Make sure you are fully relaxed before trying to put the tampon in as this will make it easier..
  • If you're younger, start with a small, light tampon. You can always increase later once you get the hang of inserting it.
  • After swimming, remember to change your tampon. This is just a precaution as you don't want a tampon full of pool water/germs from the pool.
  • And, if you run out of supplies, most bathrooms, especially middle schools, have vending machines that supply you with feminine products. They cost about 25¢, so you may want to keep a few coins handy.
  • Avoid putting Vaseline on the tampon, as this can be extremely dangerous. Vaseline and other products like it are meant to be used externally and could cause an infection.


  • Don't use tampons when you're not menstruating; doing so can potentially lead to painful and embarrassing infections.
  • Always remove a tampon before having sex, as this can push the tampon out of easy reach.
  • Be aware of risks such as toxic shock syndrome and vaginal infections.
  • If you can't remove your tampon, ask an adult to help. If all things fail, quickly get to the hospital for a professional to help remove it.
  • If you drop the tampon by mistake, don't use it. It is possible you could get an infection very easily from the germs on the floor.
  • Do not use a tampon for more than 8 hours. Doing so increases the risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome), which is rare but can be fatal. If you are going to sleep more than 8 hours, use a maxi pad.
  • If you know it's already stuck, don't try to tug it out too vigorously. It can hurt very badly if your skin tears while you're trying to pull it out.
  • Do not insert 2 tampons at the same time; doing so, you may lose one or find it difficult to get both out without medical attention.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • — Planned Parenthood information on your first period



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