Okay, so I don’t really have anyone else to ask this, but I was wondering if super tampons hurt when you use them? I’ve had my period for a few years now, but I’ve only stuck with regular size. Can you tell the difference between the two when you use it? The brand I use is Tampax Pearl Active, if that makes a difference.
There is a weird misconception out there about super tampons. Not only do most women think that super tampons are painful and uncomfortable, but a lot of people assume that if a girl is using a super tampon, it’s because she has sex a lot and her vagina is stretched out. Both of these things are wrong. The truth is that there is absolutely no shame in using a larger tampon, and it really has nothing to do with the size of your vagina – it’s more about your flow.
So, is there a marked difference between using a super tampon and a regular tampon? Uh, not really. I brought this up to Laura Goodman, the Senior Scientist for Tampax and Always (so you know she knows her period stuff), and she assured me that you shouldn’t feel anything you wouldn’t feel while wearing a regular tampon. She said, “Although the super tampon does provide extra protection, you should not be able to tell the difference between a super and regular tampon when inserted correctly.” A super tampon is larger than a regular tampon, but it’s not a tremendous difference!
There are two reasons you might notice some sort of discomfort from a super tampon. One, if you just started getting your period and you have never used a tampon or had sex or put anything in there at all. In that case, we typically recommend starting off with light tampons, just so you can get used to the process with something smaller. Even then, it wouldn’t take long at all to adjust to the super tampons. Two is what Laura Goodman said: if you put the tampon in incorrectly, it will hurt (this is true with any size tampon). Not pushing it in enough will cause some discomfort, as will pushing it in too far.
Try not to focus on the possible pain of using a super tampon. Laura says, “Remember, it is important to use the absorbency level that is right for you. You should only upgrade to super if you feel that you are changing your tampon more frequently than you should be. You should be selecting a tampon based on the right absorbency for your flow. If you find yourself needing to change your regular tampon more frequently than every four to six hours, we suggest using a super tampon. Depending on your flow, a super tampon may be ideal to use during days one or two for extra protection, returning to regular and light absorbencies to finish out your period.”
In other words, there’s no need to use a super tampon unless your flow is very heavy. If the tampon is dry, then it could feel uncomfortable when pulling it out – and if a super one is dry, that means you probably would have been fine with a regular or even light size.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org