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How to put in a Tampon?

Whether you’re new to tampons, or just looking for some helpful tips, our step-by-step guide will make inserting a tampon super simple and stress-free

Learning how to put in a tampon is easy once you’ve got the hang of it. Whether it’s your first time or you’re simply looking for some useful advice, we’ve got plenty of tips to help you feel at ease, our aim is to make you feel comfortable and confident, no matter what tampons you use.

In this blog we’ll start by explaining what tampons are available, including how to use tampons safely. From there, we’ll dive right into the best techniques of inserting and removing a tampon.

Tampons Come in a Wide Range of Absorbencies

Everyone’s period is unique to them and when it comes to tampons - absorbency really does matter!

You may have a light flow on some days of your period and a heavier flow on other days, and this is why tampons are available in such a wide range of absorbencies. The heavier your flow the higher the absorbency you should use. Here’s an example of how your flow may look and why switching tampon absorbency is so important.

Of course, your flow may look very different to this, like we said everyone’s period is unique, but by choosing the right absorbency, you can avoid leaks and feel more confident on your period.

Now we understand that it can be confusing working out what tampon absorbency is right for you, so we’ve created a clever table that will help you quickly see what tampons to purchase and what to look out for on pack. Lil-Lets tampons even have colour coded strings!

Like anything new, finding the right absorbency can take some trial and error, we find that if after 4-8 hours and when removing your tampon, it still feels tightly held, or there is very little blood on it, you may want to try switching to a lower absorbency. If on the other hand, you notice a little blood on your underwear after wearing a tampon for 3 hours or less, try moving up an absorbency, switching back down as your flow gets lighter… it’s not uncommon for some people to use up to 3 different absorbencies to manage their menstrual cycle.


How to use a tampon?

Figuring out how to put in a tampon comes with practice, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right first time, it can sometimes take a bit of getting used to, but we’re confident by following our guidelines you’ll be an expert in no time!

Find a comfortable position

There are many positions you can get into when inserting a tampon. We find the best positions can be squatting with knees bent, or hovering over the toilet seat, but there are lots more.

How to insert a non-applicator tampon

Here are our five simple steps for inserting a tampon without an applicator:

LL UK Non App Tampon Steps 01

Step 1

Wash your hands – it’s ,important to make sure your hands are clean before unwrapping a tampon.

LL UK Non App Tampon Steps 02

Step 2

Remove the tampon wrapper – simply twist the wrapper as indicated and remove the bottom section of the wrapper. Then gently unravel the string and give it a little tug to ensure its securely in place.

LL UK Non App Tampon Steps 04

Step 3

Get into a position that is comfortable for you

LL UK Non App Tampon Steps 05

Step 5

Ensure the tampon is in position - 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, now wash your hands again, and crack on with your day!

How to insert a tampon with an applicator?

Here are our five simple steps for inserting a tampon without an applicator:

LL UK App Tampon Steps 01

Step 1

Wash your hands – it’s important to make sure your hands are clean before unwrapping a tampon.

LL UK App Tampon Steps 02

Step 2

Remove the tampon wrapper – and ensure you can clearly see the string.

LL UK App Tampon Steps 03

Step 3

Get into a comfortable position – check out our video to find the most comfortable position that suits you. Hold the applicator with your thumb and middle finger at the base of the outer tube, there will most likely be some grooves to help you get a good grip.

LL UK App Tampon Steps 04

Step 4

Place the rounded end of the applicator at the entrance to your vagina – slowly insert the tampon applicator all the way into the vagina in a slanting direction towards the lower back, and until your fingers touch the entrance to the vulva (the entrance to the vagina). Using your index finger, or even your other hand push the inner tube or plunger all the way in, until it’s flush with the outer tube.

LL UK App Tampon Steps 05

Step 5

Gently remove both parts of the applicator - 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. Now wash your hands again and carry on with your day!

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 tissue, throw it in the bin and wash your hands again. It really is that easy! We never recommend flushing your tampon.

Always read the leaflet held inside every pack of tampons and change your tampon every 4-8 hours to avoid leaks and reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

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

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 as is our menstrual cup range.

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. And if you're wondering , read our article on that too.

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


How do I use a tampon, it’s my first time?

Using a tampon for the first time can be a little daunting, especially if you’ve relatively new to periods. Just remember that millions of women use tampons every day and enjoy the freedom they bring, all you have to do is follow a few tips and you’re good to go.

  • Relax, inserting a tampon will be difficult if your tense.
  • If you’re new to tampons you may want to start with a lite absorbency, using a liner as a bac -up, until you get used to insertion and what tampon absorbencies suit your flow.
  • Practice putting in a tampon on your heavier days, so you have plenty of lubrication which will allow the tampon to glide out when you’re ready to remove it.
  • If you can still feel the tampon after insertion, gently push it a little further with a clean finger or remove it and try with another tampon. Remember that if a tampon is inserted correctly, you shouldn’t be able to feel it at all.
  • If a tampon feels tightly held on removal, leave it in a bit longer, but never longer than 8 hours.

What if my tampon gets lost?

Let’s set the record straight tampons cannot get lost inside your body. Even if you’ve forgotten to unravel the string, or the string has detached, which rarely happens (don’t worry). Make sure you’re nice and relaxed before gently inserting clean fingers inside the vagina, carefully pulling the tampon out. And remember that it’s impossible to push the tampon too far up. Your cervix only has a tiny opening…too small for a tampon to pass through!

Do you have to remove your tampon when you pee?

There is absolutely no need to remove your tampon when you go to the loo to pee, simply move the string out of the way and to the side.

Why does it hurt to put a tampon in?

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.

Why can’t I insert a tampon?

If you find no matter how hard you try you simply can’t insert a tampon, there may be a couple of medical reasons why.

  • Vaginismus – this is the body’s automatic reflex action and for the vagina the muscles can tighten-up when attempting to insert a tampon, with you having little control over stopping this from happening. Your doctor can help guide you through the different treatments for this condition.
  • The hymen – is a piece of tissue that partially covers the entrance to the vagina but has a gap usually wide enough to allow your period to leave your body and a tampon to be inserted. In very rare circumstances the opening of the hymen is so small you may have difficulty inserting a tampon and again your doctor can help advise you on the best way forward if this is the case.

Can a tampon fall out, once inserted?

If a tampon is inserted correctly the walls of the vagina hold it securely in place, until you are ready to remove it…even if you’re at the gym or running around. Sometimes however, if you are on the loo and pushing hard (pooping) your tampon may fall down and if this happens it’s a good idea to remove it and insert a fresh one.

Can I lose my virginity if I insert a tampon?

The simple answer is NO, there are many different opinions on what defines a virgin, and often they can be cultural too. By definition a virgin is generally someone (any gender) who has yet to have penetrative sexual intercourse.

Can I use tampons if I have an IUD fitted?

Yes, there is no reason why you cannot continue using tampons once an IUD has been fitted. The IUD will be placed in the uterus and will not come into contact with a tampon, which is inserted in the vagina.

Do tampons have a shelf-life?

Yes, if kept in a clean and damp free environment, tampons can be kept for up to 60 months and you can find the expiry date on the outer packaging.

Can I have a shower with a tampon in?

It’s perfectly okay to carry on wearing your tampon in the shower, but if your flow is light, or you want a break, you may prefer not to. Just be sure to have a new one ready for when you get out of the shower.

Why can’t I flush tampons down the toilet?

Because tampons are designed to absorb large amounts of fluid, they don’t break down as quickly as toilet tissue and once in the drainage system they can expand so much they can block or snag in pipework. Worse still they can harm the environment, especially if flushed, and a sewer overflows due to a blockage, if this happens flushed period products could potentially flood into rivers and oceans.

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