8 Tips On How To Insert A Tampon The Right Way

For many girls, inserting a tampon is easier said than done. Sure, all of those tampon commercials make your period seem like a walk through a field of wildflowers and present tampons themselves as incredibly simple to use. Yes, there are lots of diagrams out there that give one a rough idea of how to put a tampon in (although, on the tampon boxes, the images are usually so small it can be hard to make them out). And, okay, there are some girls who are able to magically slide a tampon right up there on their first try, no sweat, like it’s nothing. But that doesn’t change the fact that inserting a tampon, if you’ve never done it before, can sometimes seem impossible.

Because really, why wouldn’t it? If you’ve never fooled around or had sex before, putting something into your vagina can seem intimidating and scary (even if you have fooled around, that doesn’t always change things – there are girls who have had sex a lot who still have trouble using tampons). You’re worried it’s going to hurt, or that you’re going to do something wrong and ruin your vagina forever (that won’t happen). That stress and anxiety only makes things harder. It’s really, really difficult to insert a tampon if you’re worried, because you unintentionally tense your muscles up, physically blocking anything from getting in. It becomes something you think abut all the time, and if you let it take over, you’ll start to feel like it will never happen.

Listen, I get it – it took me a few years before I started using tampons. For the first few years of my period, I was so freaked out about the idea of them that I just couldn’t get them in. It frustrated me to no end because I couldn’t believe I couldn’t do something that seemed so easy. When I finally managed to do it, it was a great moment for me. You should have that great moment too! If you’re having trouble, don’t freak out. Read these detailed tips on how to insert a tampon, and give yourself a little time. You’ll get there, it just might take some patience.

Get Familiar With Your Anatomy

In order to insert a tampon, you have to know what's going on down there - if you don't, you're just sort of going to be bumbling around. There are two holes down there (three, including the anus), and the tampon can only go into one of them, the vaginal opening. A lot of girls are worried that they'll put it in the wrong hole, but that's really not possible. As you can see in the diagram above, the urethra (one of the holes) is very small. This is where your pee comes out, and you can't stick anything in there - so don't stress about that. The vaginal opening is larger, and that's where a tampon goes, and it's also where a penis or fingers would go for sex stuff.

Check out the diagram, then sit with your legs spread in front of a mirror to look at your own situation. Try to find the vaginal opening and, if you feel comfortable, gently insert a clean finger so that you can see what you're working with.

Image Source: Young Women's Health

Wash Your Hands Before Checking Out The Tampon

Okay, so, before you insert a tampon, you have to wash your hands. It might sound like a silly step, but it's important - you don't want any dirt or bacteria getting into your vag when it's so easily preventable. Once your hands are clean, check out your tampon. The diagram above shows each part of the tampon, whether it's a cardboard or plastic applicator.

The applicator freaks some people out, because it's clearly larger than the actual tampon. But don't let it get to your head! The applicator is not staying inside of you, only the cotton tampon is. As far as which one is better? It's personal preference, although plastic is typically smoother and a little easier to use.

Image Source: The Period Blog

Sit In A Comfortable Position With Your Legs Apart

Once you're ready to go, sit down in a comfortable position. You can stand too, but many people find seating to be a little bit easier. Check out the image above - that's probably your best position to be in.

Insert Using Your Thumb and Index Finger

Make sure your holding your tampon the right way. Hold the middle of the applicator, AKA the grip, between your thumb and index finger. This allows to push the tampon up easily.

Image Source: Wiki How

Push Inside

Place the tampon against your vaginal opening, holding it correctly. Once it's in the right spot, touching your skin with the string hanging down, start gently pushing it inside. You can use your other hand to hold your vagina open a little bit wider, like the diagram above shows, if you want. You should push it until the plunger goes all the way into the barrel and the tampon feels comfortable inside you. Slightly twisting the applicator might make things a little bit easier.

Image Source: Menstrupedia

Make Sure You're Pushing It In At The Right Angle

While you're pushing the tampon in, you have to make sure it's at the right angle. You want the tampon to be on a slight angle so that it's perpendicular rather than parallel. If it's parallel, it's just going to make things harder - you might feel like you're hitting a block and can't get it in. This is why sitting down is the easiest way to insert a tampon - it makes the angle work better. Push the tampon in at a slight upward angle, going towards the small of your back rather than straight up.

Image Source: The Period Blog

Pull Out The Applicator

Once you've pushed the tampon up and feel it slide into place, you have to remove the applicator. This is super easy - simply keep your fingers where they are, and gently pull it out. Don't tug on the string at all, because that will pull the tampon out too. If you just gently and slowly pull the applicator out, the tampon will remain where it is. Once it's out, throw it out - don't flush it down the toilet.

Image Source:

If You Can Feel It, Push In More With Your Fingers

Once the applicator is out, stand up to see how things feel. If your tampon is properly in place, you won't feel anything. If it's not in place, you'll feel discomfort, like something is stuck there or just like there is an obvious object there. If that's the case, it probably wasn't pushed in enough. You can either insert a finger and push the tampon up more, or you can just pull that one out and try again, pushing it up more the next time around. Don't feel bad about it - not everyone gets it on the first try.

Image Source: The Period Blog

Did you find this guide helpful? Have you ever had trouble inserting a tampon? Let us know in the comments.

You can follow the author, Jessica Booth, on Twitter or Instagram.


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