how do i use a tampon?

dear heather,
How do you use a tampon? Summer is finally here and I want to go swimming, but my period ruins it for me! I have no clue how to use tampons and I am afraid to ask someone to show me how because it will be too awkward. Please help me so I can go swimming.
Good question. Using a tampon for the first time can be nerve-wracking. Glad you asked!

First off, wash your hands with soap and water. Dry your hands and unwrap the tampon. Then find a position that works for you. Some girls prefer to stand and put one leg on the toilet for easier access. If you’d like to use a mirror so you can see what is down there, go for it.

Hold the tampon with the hand you write with and your thumb and forefinger. Put your forefinger at the tip of the tampon, where the string is, and your thumb and other fingers at the base of the tampon. Hold it like you’d hold a pen that has a clicking button to open and close it. Make sure the string side of the tampon is facing away from your body (same as the imaginary pen).

With your other hand (the one not holding the tampon), open the skin around your vagina and position the tampon end at the opening. Slowly push the tampon inside of you, towards your back and not straight up towards your head. It should be going in more horizontally than vertically. Don’t force it. Your body will guide the tampon inside if you go slowly enough. And make sure you are pushing it in without pushing with your forefinger on the tip (that will come in a minute).

Stop pushing the tampon inside of you when your thumb and other fingers (not your forefinger) are right up against your body. The tampon should be in far enough so that the thin tube is the only part showing.

Then, use your forefinger to push the smaller tube towards your body. This will push the applicator into the tampon tube. Push it all the way in so you cannot push it any more, and you should feel the tampon inside of you.

Once it is in, remove the rest of the tampon with your thumb and other fingers so it comes out around the string. The string should still be hanging from your body.

When you are ready to remove it (in the next 4-6 hours), just gently pull on the string and it will come out. If the tampon is somewhat dry, it may be a bit uncomfortable to remove, but not painful.

You should not feel the tampon too much. If it is your first time, you will feel that it is there, but if you inserted it correctly, it should not be uncomfortable. You might not have pushed it far in enough and you might need to try again with a new one. Do not get frustrated if you don’t get it on the first try. It will happen soon enough and the days of messy pads and not being able to swim will be over!

If you need a visual, click here.

Good luck!

take care,

Posted in: Body Issues, Help Me Heather
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  • christina

    i just recently was able to put a tampon in and im such a dork i felt so excited that i know ow to now. i read lots of stuff on how to put one in and now i finally know how. (ps im 16 and ive had my period for like 4 yrs now) so dont worry u’ll eventually learn how to put 1 in