I Can’t Get a Tampon In

No need to pop your cherry first.

Hi Heather,

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.

|Need somewhere to talk about your period? Do it on the  Boards!|

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.

|Do you shave down there? Heather weighs in on the big debate.|

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.

take care,


What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at heather@gurl.com

Posted in: Being Yourself, Body & Health, Body Image, Body Issues, Help Me Heather, Help&Advice, Sucky Emotions, Sucky Emotions, Virginity, Your Life
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  • Poppy

    I’m having the exact same problem at the moment. It’s just not happening! I’ve been trying for about a year now and it’s not getting any easier. It’s constantly on my mind and I’m starting to think that there’s something wrong with my downtown lady place! Every time I try it goes a little bit in, before I start crying and take it out. It really sucks.

  • c s

    i am a swimmer and my coach is pressuring me to use a tampon and i dont know what to do becuase just talking about it makes me feel nausaues and i’ve several types in the smallest possible sizes and still cant get it to fit. my coach says to put a lotion on it but i dont think that sounds very hygenic please help i dont know what to do

  • Marlee

    When I tried putting in a tampon it hurt so bad and I could only get half an inch into my vagina. I tried this twice while standing up. Later, I realized that I can usually get my fingers into my vagina when I’m lying on my back so I tried that and it still didnt work. BUT then I thought could I be putting it in the completely wrong spot? So I just slid the tampon through my crotch, and as soon as I reached my actual vagina it went in without a problem. Just make sure you are putting it in far enough and wait at least four hours to take it out as it will probably hurt from not bein saturated enough.

  • efigeklim

    I have had my Period for like 3 years now. I’m a swimmer and I can’t figure out Tampons for the life of me. I’ve been trying for a long time meaning a few months. I am so frustrated!! my coach was very understanding this year but I have a new coach now and I really need to learn how to use one. My mom is getting annoyed with me and i’m sure my coach will too after awhile. Any suggestions? I’ve tried everything!!!!! I’m soooo frustrated. My mom’s always saying that its not that hard and that I need to grow up and just do it like everyother girl…. I’ve gotten it in before but only at home. I cant seem to do it anywhere else….

  • Kellie

    I have Swimming Tomorrow and i have tried sitting on the toilet and also one leg up i start crying as soon as im about to try put the tampon in because the mirror wont stay and i don’t know if it is the right spot i get real scared and i cant talk to mum because she will yell at me please help :'(

    • Kristen

      Try squatting like you are on an invisible yoga ball

  • Em

    i have been having my period for 2 years and i cant put in a tampon i have been trying for ages but i just cant get it in. i am going on camp tomorrow and i am due for my period. i am meant to be going snorkeling and surfing but if i get my period i don’t know what i will do! please help!!!!! my mom has passed away so i only have my dad and i dont feel comfortable talking about this stuff with him.Please help!!

  • Lilly

    I have had my period for 3 years and I still can’t use a tampon and it really bothers me cause my friend just got it and she’s already using tampons! Why can’t I use and tampok and how long will it last???

  • Rachel

    So… not completely true. Some girls DO have to get a minor surgery (myself, being one) to clip the hymen. I was 20 before I went to the gyno and found this out.

    Don’t assume you’re just too tense! If, after a while of trying to get a tampon on in and no luck, consider getting it checked out!

  • KonfusedKat

    i need help too. i have not gotten my period yet (i’m 14) but i have fingered myself. i can only find my vagina if i am laying on my back with my legs in the birthing position. but only if i am laying on a soft surface, like my bed. i dont like the feeling of a pad on my underwear. and i an scared that when i get my period, i wont be able to find my vagina.

  • Hannah

    I had this problem too. Most tampon directions say put in the tampon at an upward angle. I tried that, eventually got it in, but it hurt really bad. Therefore I took it out immediatly. Then I tried vaseline on the applicator and it helped me feel, if you will, my anatomy. It turns out my vagina was more at a downward angle instead. It might hurt if it’s not lubricated as well. If you don’t want to use vaseline, this may be akward, but feel around down there and find out what direction your vagina is pointing. But I still use vaseline everytime. Try these, I hope they helped.

  • Christina

    I had the same issue but I finally got it after like 5 or 6 tries. I put one leg rested on the bathtub. But be prepared as they feel extremely weird when you take the tampon out.

  • Julia

    Make sure you’re having a moderate to heavy flow…relax, take some deep breaths, sit down, use a mirror, and make sure it’s pointed more towards your butt…the angle helps x

  • littlecullenlol

    my friend had the same problem but she sorted it out lol x

  • Anonymous

    DONT worry!! my friend had the same problem just sit down infront of a mirror n slide it in x

  • hippiee.fashionn.duhh

    ugh, same problem, andd still hasnt workedd. i get freakedd out, i need to calm down i guess

  • Liz

    try a different angle! I couldn’t get one in until I pushed it towards my tailbone, instead of straight up.

  • LOLOLxx

    i have the exact same problem

  • robin

    putting a tampon in was hard for me as well when i first started. but i practiced and sat in a sqauting position.

  • claire

    i have a female relative (who will remain unnamed) who had the same problem…she told her mom and had to get surgery for it. something to do with the hymen covering more than it should i think…hope this helps.

  • G.T.

    I had the same problem and I’m the same age. What my mother told me though was to relax and just slowly put it in and it works, i don’t wear them often but the times I have, I just try to relax and go sloww.

    • janna

      i very much agree with all of u i have the same problem my mom told me to the same thing and its just not working out so maybe when im ready 🙂