I am sixteen and have been having my periods for about a year but I have always used pads. I want to start using tampons but every time I have tried to insert a tampon I can only push it in a little bit as I can feel something which I think is most probably my hymen as I am still a virgin, and I can only push it in a little bit without it hurting. I have heard rumors that doctors can ‘clip’ your hymen but I didn’t know if it was true. I was also wondering that if it was true would my doctor be able to remove my hymen so I would be able to use tampons?
Not being able to use a tampon is a common problem for a lot of gURLs, but it has way less to do with your hymen than it does with your pubococcygeus (aka PC) muscles. Tampons may stretch out your hymen, but that little piece of skin in your vagina actually has a very small opening for menstrual flow. Your hymen doesn’t need to be broken, and getting it clipped is something you definitely don’t need to worry about doing.
It sounds like the problem here is that you just need to relax. Being too stressed out about inserting a tampon is usually the main reason why it’s hard for gURLs to use one. When you get nervous or feel a little pain, you tense up your PC muscles, making it difficult for any object to enter your vaginal canal. Take a few slow, deep breaths and calm yourself down before you try again. Maybe try using a mirror so you can see down there. It also helps to be slightly lubricated, ideally from your vaginal fluids.
All tampons are different, so be careful which ones you pick. For your first time, try using a small ‘light flow’ tampon, which will go in much easier than a ‘super’ one will. Also, I would pick one with a plastic applicator rather than cardboard or none at all — it’ll be easier to slide in. And you might feel a tiny bit of pain when you’re doing it, but that’s normal at first. You just need to gently push it in there the first time, and after that, it’ll be much easier.
Still not working? There’s lots of other menstrual products on the market for gURLs who don’t like tampons. It might be worth looking into getting a menstrual cup or sponge.
What about you, gURLs? Have you ever had trouble using a tampon? Got any tips of your own? Share your stories and advice below.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org