Sex & Relationship

A step-by-step guide for girls on how to use Tampons?

A thing with a string meant to be used one time and then thrown away

Will these cramps ever end? Will the bleeding ever stop? Should I use a pad or a tampon? I am a virgin so will it break my virginity?

These are some of the questions that every girl might be struggling to ask someone and to find answers when she starts her period for the first time.

An average woman in the United States of America uses 16,000 tampons more or less in her lifetime. Thus, we can know for sure that tampons have grown to be something in every lady’s life. Tampons are a live saver for some women suffering from their monthly visitor. However, for some, it still confusing, and believe it or not, but there are women who don’t even know how to use tampons.

According to a survey, it was revealed that hundreds of women in the United Kingdom do not know how to use tampons in the right way. Around 42% don’t insert the applicator (a cover for applying a tampon) properly, whereas 79% at times feels discomfort while wearing tampons. Now, interestingly of these, 60% of women say that they feel discomfort from insertion or from the first moment they start wearing the tampon. Recent data shows that within the 18 to 24-year-old age bracket, 58% of tampon applicator users insert tampon incorrectly which is well over half.

Close-up of hand holding tampon

There are no statistics for India and no one even talks about it.

Now why in the year 2020, women are still struggling to apply tampons?

Perhaps it’s because they weren’t taught this at school. It happens everywhere, especially in India and in some cultures, it’s not done socially to give the advice to wear tampons, and so young girls are never taught or educated.

What is Tampons?

A tampon is known to be a feminine hygiene product used to absorb menstrual blood flows out of the vagina. It controls the blood flow but before it leaves the body and the material is compressed and expands when it gets wet. A tampon is a cylindrical shaped soft cotton designed to be effortlessly inserted into the vagina with or without an applicator and is a substitute for sanitary pads, period underwear, and cups.

A tampon comes inside the plastic or cardboard called the applicator that holds the tampon and an inner thin tube is used to push the tampon into the vagina. Once it is inserted, a cord hangs out of the body for easy removal.  It doesn’t get stuck when it is inside you and once it has absorbed the blood you can pull it out with the string attached to it and if the string breaks, you can easily reach in and pull the tampon out using your fingers.

It comes in multiple shapes and sizes with different levels of absorbency and is designed to hold from six to eight grams of blood.

Tampon sizes include:

  1. Lite (for light periods either at the starting or the end days)
  2. Regular/Normal (usually used when there is a flow)
  3. Super (When there is a heavy flow)
  4. Super Plus (For the heaviest days of bleeding)

How to use a tampon? A step-by-step guide

Using tampons with applicator

  1. It is essential to wash your hands well and then unwrap the tampon.
  2. You have to be in a comfortable position, either sitting or standing.
  3. You can try squatting down or standing with one leg on the toilet seat or bathtub.
  4. Make sure that the tampon is in the bigger tube of the applicator and its string hanging out of the smaller tube.
  5. Gently hold the applicator using the thumb and the middle finger at the end of the larger tube where the smaller tube inserts into it.
  6. Spread the legs and gently insert the free end of the bigger tube into the vagina.
  7. Press the narrow tube with the index finger pushing the tampon in place in the vagina.
  8. Remove the applicator while leaving the string of the tampon hanging out of the vagina for the removal process.

Using tampons without an applicator

  1. Using clean hands, hold the base of the tampon between the index finger and the thumb.
  2. Insert the tampon into the vagina.
  3. Push the tampon inside, gently, with the middle finger while leaving the string/thread hanging out of the vagina.
  4. Remove the finger while leaving the string/thread of the tampon hanging out of the vagina, to be used later for the removal process.

Note: It is advised by Doctors that you should never leave a tampon inside the vagina for more than 6 hours as it can cause a rare but potentially fatal illness called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

There are various symptoms that can develop quickly which include:

  1. Faintness
  2. High fever
  3. Low blood pressure
  4. Headache
  5. Vomiting or diarrhoea

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of TSS, remove your tampon immediately and call your doctor.

Read more: Why some men get so butthurt when a woman says No?

Can virgins use tampons?

For some people, losing virginity is a huge deal and it can be seen in many cultures and people are often judged regarding it which causes a lot of pressure. However, you don’t have to get worried because tampons will not make you you’re your virginity. The hymen doesn’t get tear when you use a tampon. The thin membrane, hymen, may stretch lightly but it will not tear so it is safe to use tampons.

Tampon Safety Tips

There may be many things that you may want to talk with your health care provider about whether tampons are right for you. However, consider the following if you use tampons:

  1. Always choose a valid and an appropriate tampon
  2. Wash your hands before you use it
  3. Make sure it is inserted properly
  4. Change your tampon after every six hours
  5. Always carry some extra tampons with you
  6. Use tampons according to the blood flow
  7. Using tampons doesn’t make you lose your virginity
  8. You can always use the washroom with a tampon in
  9. Change your tampon after swimming
  10. Use tampons only when you have your period
  11. Talk to your health care provider if you have any vaginal pain, headache, fever, or other unusual symptoms.
  12. Track your period cycle by using any period tracker app so that you can make prior arrangements

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