How Do I Actually Use A Tampon?

A guide for nervous beginners

They’re tricky things, tampons. Figuring out what sanitary product works best for you during your period can be a daunting process. You might start off with pads, thinking of them as an easy option but soon want to start exploring what else is out there to aid you through that time of the month.

For many, tampons are a great option. Although they’re not for everyone, and that’s completely fine, some people find the convenience and peace of mind (no constant checking for leaks) better. Maybe you’ve made the decision to give tampons a bash after chatting with your friends who use them, but the question is, where do I even begin?

Inserting something into your body can feel unnatural when you’re new to it, so KISS is here to help you get the hang of it, so you can tampon like a pro.

Firstly, how do I know which ones to choose? 

There are tonnes of options for tampons out there. Much like pads, tampons also come in different sizes. The sizes all depend on how much absorbency you need. So, on your heavier flow days, you’ll need to use a tampon that is larger and can absorb more, like ‘super’ or ‘super plus’. On the days when your period is lighter, usually in the very beginning or towards the end, you can use tampons that are smaller and will feel more comfortable. You can find out the absorbancy level on the box.

You might notice that some tampons come with applicators and others don’t. Applicators are a small plastic or cardboard device that helps you to insert the tampon into your cervix easier. If you’re unsure which ones to go for, we recommend trying tampons with an applicator at first as this will help you to become more comfortable with them as you test them out. When you’re familiar with the process you can opt for applicator-free ones as they are more environmentally friendly.

I know what ones I need to use, now how do I insert it? 

One of the hardest things about tampons is mastering how to insert them with ease. It can take practice but it’s very possible to get to a place where you don’t worry about putting it in or taking it out.

Firstly, you need to make sure you have clean, freshly washed hands. Next, the best tip you can receive is to try and relax. If your muscles are tensed up it will be harder for the tampon to be inserted, so we recommend taking a few deep breaths and allowing yourself to relax.

Next, unwrap your tampon and pull back your applicator until you hear a click, now it’s ready to insert. Then, locate your vagina, you can do this by feeling with the tampon or your fingers so you know exactly where you’re putting it. Sometimes it can be easier to do this if you lift one leg up, prop your foot on the side of a toilet or most convenient spot and take a deep breath. When you have found your vagina, hold the tampon at the grip and place the tip of it at the opening of your vagina.

Once you’re in place try to hold the tampon at a slight angle and aim it inwards towards your lower back, rather than directly upright, this will make it more comfortable. Then, insert inside your vagina all the way until the grip touches your vulva (the opening). From there you will use your index fingers to push the tampon with the applicator inside. Once this is all the way in pull the applicator out and voila!

Should it hurt a little? 

The process of inserting your tampon may be a little uncomfortable, that’s normal. But once the tampon is inside you shouldn’t be able to feel it, and it certainly shouldn’t be painful. If you’ve inserted your tampon and it doesn’t feel right, this could be because it’s not inside your vagina high enough. If this is the case don’t worry, you can fix it by simply using your finger to push it up higher inside of you. Or if you’re not comfortable with that you can pull it out by the string and start again, there are no rules when it comes to getting comfortable.

How do I take it back out? 

Inserting is the hard part, taking it out should be a piece of cake. It’s advised that you don’t leave a tampon in for longer than 8 hours, this is to avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome.

For some people, you may only get a couple of hours out of your tampon before it begins to leak, this all depends on your flow. When you are ready to take it out begin the same process as above and have freshly washed hands. Then, squat down or prop your leg up on a surface and begin to pull on the string. The tampon should slide out with ease. If you’re at a stage of your period where your flow is very light it may feel a little uncomfortable to remove, this is normal, just pull slowly and with light force.

If, in the unlikely event that you face some difficulty removing it, we have some tips and tricks here that you can use if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t get it out as easy as usual.

It’s out, how do I dispose of it? 

Disposing of a tampon should be easy. Never ever flush one down the toilet, instead wrap it up in tissue paper or the wrapper of your next pad/tampon and pop it into a bin. It’s really that easy.