You are not alone if you have never tried putting a tampon in before. Pads are the most common menstrual product in America. This is according to Euromonitor. According to the business, women aged 12 to 54 purchased an average of 111 pads per year in 2014, compared to 66 tampons.
Continue reading to discover what sorts of tampons are available in the market, how to select the best ones, and as well as how to insert a tampon.
Choosing the Right Tampon
Before you even think about how to insert a tampon into your vagina, you should first know what type of tampon you will use. Tampons aren’t all created the same. Varying brands may have varied textures, sizes, and materials. All tampon brands have various amounts of absorbency. T is something they all have in common. Although each producer may have somewhat different labels for its sizes, tampons are categorized as follows:
- Junior or slim (for very light flow
- Regular (for normal flow)
- Super (for heavy days)
- Super plus/ultra (for very heavy flow)
It’s too thin if the tampon needs to be changed every few hours. Tampons are sometimes sold in multipacks, with several sizes of tampons in each box. For example, some may include eight small tampons for the first few days of your period, as well as many bigger sizes for days when your period is heavier. To avoid leaks, it’s a good idea to have a variety of tampon sizes available. It also aids in the management of erratic periods and irregular cycles. F If the greatest absorbency isn’t enough to stop leaks, adding a pad can help avoid stains.
Also, be mindful of the end date of the tampon that you’ll use. Because yes, they do expire. Tampons have a five-year shelf life. This if they’re kept in their original packaging and aren’t exposed to extreme moisture. Tampons are hygienic items, but they aren’t packed or sealed in the same way that sterile products are. This implies that if they aren’t stored, germs and mold can form. Because cotton is vulnerable to germs and mold, organic tampons are thought to have a five-year shelf life. Even if a tampon appears to be new, don’t use a tampon that is expired. Mold isn’t always clear, and the applicator may conceal it. And we sure don’t want to insert something unhygienic inside, don’t we?
Prep: Wash Your Hands
One of the essential steps we can take to avoid germ transmission and get sick is to keep our hands clean. By not washing hands with soap and clean, flowing water, many illnesses and bacteria are transmitted.
You already know how to wash up after using the restroom. But while you’re in your menstrual period, it’s a good idea to wash your hands before as well—especially if you are to insert a tampon without an applicator.
According to Michael Ingber, MD, who is board-certified in urology and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, it is a must for women to always have clean hands before they insert a tampon in. You should wash your hands with soap and water. This is to prevent dangerous germs from entering the vaginal canal. Filthy fingers can taint the tampon. This can increase your risk of developing diseases like a urinary tract infection (UTI).
As ob-gyn Laurence Orbuch, MD advised, it is ideal for females to carry a tiny bottle of antibacterial liquid anywhere they go. So when you go somewhere and there isn’t any clean water everywhere, at least you’ll be able to wash your hands insert a tampon or remove the tampon.
Inserting a Tampon With and Without Applicator
Before you begin to learn how to insert a tampon, you should know the different components of the tampon and applicator, as they are not at all one piece. Tampons are tiny cylinders that fit into the vaginal canal. When the material is moist, it contracts and expands. The string is the part that extends outside of the vagina and can be pulled to remove it once it is already soaked up. The barrel, grip, and plunger form the applicator that surrounds the tampon and string. If you’re using a travel-sized tampon, you may need to stretch the plunger and snap it into position. The plunger pushes the tampon away from the applicator. You do this by clutching the grip with the tips of your fingers and sliding another finger on the plunger’s end.
Tampons sold in the market come with cardboard or plastic applicators. These applicators around the cotton tampon allow inserting it into the vagina faster. Examine the tampon by opening its packaging. When you unwrap the tampon, the white cotton end may be visible peeking through one end of the applicator. A thread should be attached to the other end. And the plastic or cardboard applicator should envelop the tampon itself. The applicator is often made up of two tubes, one within the other.
With one hand, gently push the tampon inside (string side down) through the vaginal opening. Do this until you reach the shallow bump on the applicator’s side, around halfway up. With your index finger, press the applicator’s inner tube toward you while also holding the indentation with two fingers. The tampon will glide out of the applicator and into the body as you do this. Gently and carefully push until it stops, then take the applicator out. You can now dispose of the applicator. The thread should be seen dangling from the vaginal opening. This is to aid in the removal of the tampon later on. It must not hurt to use a tampon. If it does, it might be because it is overly absorbent or was not placed deep enough. Push the tampon in a little further if any of it is peeking out.
If there is difficulty on how to insert a tampon and the route is not obstructed by the vaginal inner lips, there may be an underlying cause. It is possible to be born with a very tiny hole in the hymen. This hinders a tampon from being placed in rare circumstances. See your health care practitioner or gynecologist if you’re experiencing difficulties inserting a tampon and you see this as the cause.
Tampons without applicators are available, although they may be more challenging to use. It has a slightly different process on how to insert a tampon. Rather than using a tampon applicator, you will slide the tampon into your vagina with your thumb and middle finger. You start by removing the tampon from its plastic wrapper. Get into a comfortable position. Grab the thread and tug it firmly from left to right and top to bottom. This step expands the base of the tampon and protects your finger. To insert the tampon, insert your index finger into the pocket you’ve created by sliding the thread around. Then place the tampon among your thumb and middle finger. Insert your index finger to push the tampon, then slip your finger out. The string should be dangling outside of your body. You should be able to sense the tampon but not feel it. If you do feel it, push it in a little deeper. Last but not least, wash your hands. You’re done!
Many find tampons without applicators as straightforward. Aside from the fact that it is much affordable, it comes in smaller packing and waste that makes it eco-friendly. Especially if you are using the organic cotton ones. Furthermore, many women believe that they have far more complete control over how a non-applicator tampon enters their vaginas. And they may change how it fits to find the most comfortable position for them. But, others don’t like the idea of using their fingers to insert a tampon inside them. This could mean they might get blood on their fingers.
Removing a Tampon
You have to change your tampon every four to eight hours, depending on your flow. The good news is that, because no applicator is required, some individuals find it a lot easier to remove a tampon than it is to put one on.
First, start by washing your hands. You can never be sure that tugging a string won’t bring any bacteria near your vagina. Next, return to your previous comfortable position. This creates a much more direct channel for the tampon to exit. Whenever you are ready to withdraw the tampon, gently pull the end of the tampon string. Once the tampon has been removed from your vagina, carefully wrap it in toilet paper and dispose of it in a trash can. Remember, the majority of tampons are not biodegradable. and that tampons are never meant to be flushed down the toilet. Lastly, wash your hands again before inserting a tampon or switching to a pad.
However, if it seems like your tampon is stuck inside your vagina, and that you haven’t noticed any signs of infection, you can remove a tampon yourself. As you begin, make sure your nails are clipped and smooth. This is to avoid any minor wounds in your vagina that can result in infection. When you’re ready, clean your hands with soap and water. Use a bandage to cover any open wounds or scabs on your fingers if there are any. Sit on a toilet with your feet resting on a tool, or you may also try standing with one leg on the toilet seat. Like you’re just having a bowel movement, bear down or push. In certain situations, this may be enough to force the tampon out. Breathe deeply and rest your muscles if you still can’t feel anything. Insert one finger carefully inside your vagina. Sweep the inside of your vagina in a circle, looking for any signs of a tampon. Also, try to reach up towards your cervix. Once you feel the tampon with your finger, pull it out.
If you can’t find or remove the tampon, or if you suspect there are still fragments remaining in your vagina, contact a doctor right away. Without proper care, a stuck tampon might develop into a usually dangerous infection.
When Not to Insert a Tampon
Tampons can be extremely useful during your period. But we’ve all heard stories about tampon misuse. Nobody likes toxic shock syndrome (TSS), thus it’s critical to understand when you should not be using a tampon. Tampons are incredibly beneficial. But they may also be harmful if used inappropriately, so take caution when unsure if a tampon is required.
If you are planning to sleep for a while, say more than 8 hours, you should not wear a tampon. Use sanitary pads instead. This is because tampons should only be worn for up to 8 hours, and wearing them longer can bring harm.
Do not wear tampons as well when you are not having your period. If you are just having an increased vaginal discharge, it is never advised to use tampons at all. Moreover, it is best to visit your healthcare provider to make sure that you are not experiencing any vaginal infection.
Mothers who just gave birth are also not advised to use tampons. It is not advisable to insert anything inside the vagina at least 6 weeks after giving birth. It is critical to allow the region to heal without any foreign objects that might cause infection and interfere with wound healing. If you are interested in continuing using tampons after 6 weeks then you better consult your ob-gyne about it.
Healthcare professionals also discourage using tampons when you are under any vaginal medication. If you are under vaginal yeast infection, for example, you might be applying antifungal ointments in the outer area of the vagina. Using a tampon will only risk the possibility of carrying the medication inside the vagina.
Like any other daily activity, inserting a tampon will get easier for you as you get familiar with how you do it. It may seem weird at first, but after you learn the right techniques, you’ll feel like an expert in no time. Remember that tampons aren’t the only option. Other menstruation care products include pads, menstrual cups, and even period underwear. Consult a doctor if you have continuous discomfort or odd symptoms after inserting or withdrawing your tampon. Something else may be going on that requires medical care.