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How to Put in a Tampon

Learning how to put in a tampon is super simple once you’ve got the hang of it. Whether you’re a first-timer or someone who always uses tampons, there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to put you at ease. As many as *11 000 menstrual products are used in a lifetime, so you’re not alone in figuring out exactly how to use them while feeling comfortable and confident.

In this article, we’ll start by sharing a few tips on how to use tampons safely. From there, we’ll dive into the process of inserting and removing non-applicator tampons.

How to use a tampon

Figuring out how to use a tampon comes with practice. Don’t be afraid to try it out a few times and see which absorbency options work for you. 

When using tampons, consider the following tips:

  • Observe your flow and buy a selection of different tampon absorbencies to see what works best.
  • Carry a small supply of tampons with you at all times to use when needed. Lil-Lets non-applicator tampons are compact and individually wrapped, making them easy to store in a bag or purse. If you're like us, handbag chaos can be super frustrating. Our coloured strings help you easily spot your tampon and change it on the go!
  • Myth buster alert: you can use the toilet whilst using a tampon — just make sure the string is out of the way.
  • You don’t need a tampon applicator to comfortably insert a tampon.

How to insert a tampon

When inserting a tampon, start by making sure your hands are clean and your body is relaxed. The more you overthink it, the more likely you are to tense up.

 

Here are 5 simple steps for tampon insertion:

1. Wash your hands

Make sure your hands are clean before unwrapping the tampon. Using a gentle soap and warm water is the best option.

Tampon Insertion Wash Your Hands

2. Remove the tampon wrapper

Twist the tampon’s wrapper and unravel the removal string. If you don’t have a bin that can be opened without touching it, place the wrapper on a nearby surface in the meantime. Don’t forget to dispose of it later.

Tampon Insertion Twist The Tampon

3. Get into a comfortable position

There are many positions you can get into when inserting a tampon. We find the best positions can be squatting or sitting down on the toilet seat with your knees apart, but be careful not to drop the tampon into the toilet.

Tampon Insertion Get In A Comfortable Position

4. Slowly insert the tampon with your index or middle finger

Point the rounded end of the tampon towards your vagina. Aim towards your lower back, using your index or middle fingers to ease the tampon into your vagina. Keep pushing until you reach your knuckle.

It helps to relax during insertion, to avoid any discomfort. And if you happen to instinctively tense up, try to take some deep breaths.

Tampon Insertion Keep Pushing

5. Ensure the tampon is in far enough and wash your hands

You'll know the tampon is in the right spot when you can no longer feel it. At first, it may feel like it's too far up, but actually, this is the perfect position for ultimate comfort. The tampon string should still be hanging outside of the vagina.

Once the tampon is comfortably inserted, wash your hands and crack on with your day!

Tampon Insertion LL

Tampon insertion comes down to your individual needs. Feel free to experiment with alternative ways of adjusting the tampon string too. For example, some people like to tuck the string inside their labia (vagina lips), especially if they’re swimming or wearing tight clothes. On the other hand, many people let the string hang outside the labia ready for removal. Choose what works for you and your body!

How to remove a tampon

The good news is that removing a tampon is easy to figure out once you know how to put one in. Firstly, make sure you wash your hands and get into a comfortable position.  When you’re ready to remove your tampon, you can locate the tampon string and pinch it with your thumb and index finger before slowly pulling it out. From there, wrap the tampon in a bit of toilet paper, throw it in the bin and wash your hands again. It really is that easy! We never recommend flushing your tampon.

Remove your tampon at regular intervals to avoid leaks and the risk of  Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). We always recommend changing a tampon every 4 to 8 hours.

What happens if a tampon gets stuck?

Let’s set the record straight on a notorious myth — tampons cannot get stuck or lost inside your body. Although they can be more difficult to remove at times, it’s always possible to get them out with the right technique. Relax, take a deep breath, and use your fingers to reach for the “stuck” tampon. You’ll probably find the string if you reach in a little further.

You can also figure out how to remove a stuck tampon if the string has detached — which rarely happens (don’t worry). Make sure you’re nice and relaxed before gently pushing your clean fingers inside the vagina and pulling the tampon out. And remember that it’s impossible to push the tampon too far up. Your cervix only has a tiny opening and acts almost like a door to your uterus, however, it’s a very small door…  too small for a tampon to pass through!

Choose from our wide range of non-applicator tampons for your comfort, fit & protection

How to use a tampon for the first time

Using a tampon for the first time can be confusing or overwhelming, especially if you recently started your period. However, there are millions of people around the world who use tampons every day. All you have to do is wash your hands, get comfortable and insert the tampon. It's simple once you get the hang of it.

Here are some extra tips for people learning how to put in a tampon for the first time:

  1. Be sure to align the tip of the tampon with the vaginal opening and not the urethra.
  2. Use tampons with the right absorbency for your needs. You can start with a lower absorbency tampon and see how things go.
  3. Practice inserting a tampon when your flow is medium to heavy, so you have enough lubrication.
  4. If you can still feel the tampon after insertion, gently push it in further or remove it and insert another. For optimum comfort, you should not be able to feel the tampon once inserted.

Why does it hurt to put in a tampon?

It can feel uncomfortable inserting a tampon, especially if it’s your first time. However, it certainly shouldn’t hurt. If you find yourself in pain when inserting or using a tampon, it could be a result of tensing up or pushing the tampon in too quickly without enough lubrication. There’s also the possibility that the tampon has not been positioned in the vagina correctly. Consider changing the insertion angle or absorbency of your tampons to see if you can find a more comfortable fit.

And if you have sudden difficulty inserting tampons or consistent pain that won’t go away, we recommend consulting a gynaecologist or healthcare professional. In some cases, people have a condition called vaginismus in which the muscles of the vagina squeeze or spasm during insertion.

Using tampons: The key points to remember

Inserting and removing a tampon takes practice. Some of us grasp it on our first try while others need a bit more time. Take your time and try a couple of absorbencies to find the best match. And if you simply can’t wrap your head around inserting a tampon with your finger, our reusable tampon applicator is a planet-friendly alternative to single-use plastic.

Lil-Lets non-applicator tampons are made with SmartFit™ technology that expands all the way around for greater comfort and protection against leaks. They’re also made from **96% less plastic than most leading tampon brands while being 100% free from chlorine and bleach. Choose from a wide range of absorbent and comfortable tampons to suit your flow.

*Menstruation facts and figures (2020) AHPMA. Available at: https://www.ahpma.co.uk/menstruation_facts_and_figures/ (Accessed: October 30, 2022).

**94- 96% less plastic when comparing equivalent absorbency tampons from the Lil-Lets non-applicator range to the leading brand compact plastic applicator ranges.

Frequently Asked Questions

How far are you meant to put a tampon in?

You are meant to put a tampon in far enough for your knuckle to reach the vaginal opening. However, everyone’s body is a little bit different, so don’t be afraid to figure out what works for you. The tampon probably isn’t far up enough if you’re experiencing discomfort.

How long does it take to put in a tampon?

It takes a couple of seconds to put in a tampon once you become used to the process — it simply slides in. To avoid discomfort and leaks, people typically change their tampons every 4 to 8 hours, depending on how much blood has been absorbed. You can try out different tampon absorbencies to see what works for you.

How old should you be to put a tampon in?

There is no particular age that you have to be to insert a tampon. You can start using tampons as soon as you start your period, which could be as young as 9 or 10 years old. All that matters is feeling confident and comfortable with using tampons – it’s your decision.

What is the easiest way to insert a tampon?

The easiest way to insert a tampon depends on your body, personal preference and experience using tampons. Many people find it easier to squat and insert the tampon with their index or middle finger. Alternatively, it might be easier to sit down on the toilet or lie down on your back. 

Can a tampon dissolve inside you?

A tampon cannot dissolve inside you so there’s no need to panic! The cervix opening is too small for a tampon to fit through, meaning it will stay inside the vagina and can always be removed.

How do you know when to remove a tampon?

You will know when to remove your tampon if you experience leaks, slight discomfort or spot blood on the top of your tampon string. If you aren't experiencing any of these things, we still recommend not leaving your tampon in for longer than 8 hours.

Can you use tampons when you first start your period?

You can use tampons when you first start your period if you would like to. Using tampons is safe and potentially helpful for young people who swim or play sports.

Should it hurt when putting a tampon in?

It should not hurt when putting a tampon in. You might experience a little bit of discomfort, especially if you aren’t lubricated or it’s your first time. But if the pain persists, consider trying a different tampon absorbency. If that doesn’t help, consult a gynaecologist or healthcare professional.

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