How to put a tampon in: steps and tips for comfort and confidence

How to put a tampon in

This guide outlines how to put a tampon in with steps and tips for first-time users or those who want to do it more comfortably.

Using tampons can offer comfort and convenience during menstruation. However, it is crucial to have proper education and understanding about tampons to ensure safe and comfortable use.

How to put a tampon in

In this guide, we will cover essential aspects, including choosing the right tampon, preparing for insertion, a step-by-step guide, troubleshooting common issues, tips for comfort and confidence, alternative menstrual products, frequently asked questions, and additional resources for further information.

The Importance of Education and Understanding

Before using tampons, it is essential to educate yourself about the anatomy of your body and understand how tampons work. Having proper knowledge ensures safe and effective use and helps dispel any misconceptions or fears.

Choosing the Right Tampon for You

Tampons come in various sizes, absorbencies, and applicator types. Choosing the right one depends on your flow, comfort level, and individual preferences. Start with a lower absorbency tampon and switch to higher absorbency as needed. Experiment with different brands and styles to find what works best for you.

Preparing for Insertion

Before inserting a tampon, wash your hands thoroughly to maintain hygiene. Relax your body and find a comfortable position, like standing with one leg raised or sitting on the toilet.

Step-by-step Guide to Inserting a Tampon

  • Unwrap the tampon and familiarize yourself with its components: the tampon itself, the applicator (if applicable), and the removal string.
  • If using an applicator tampon, hold it with your thumb and middle finger, with the rounded end facing your body.
  • With your free hand, gently spread the labia to expose the vaginal opening.
  • Place the tip of the tampon at the vaginal opening and aim it toward your lower back.
  • Slowly and steadily push the tampon into your vagina using the applicator or your fingers. Stop when your fingers or the applicator reaches the notch on the applicator, or when the tampon is comfortably inside.
  • If using an applicator, gently push the plunger to release the tampon fully.
  • Ensure the string is hanging outside of your body for easy removal.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Difficulty Inserting: If you experience difficulty inserting the tampon, try using a water-based lubricant on the tampon or switch to a smaller size or a tampon with an applicator.
  • Tampon Feels Uncomfortable: If the tampon feels uncomfortable, it may not be inserted far enough. Gently push it further or try a different angle. If the discomfort persists, remove and try again with a new tampon.
  • Tampon Leak: If you experience leaks, consider using a higher absorbency tampon or wear a panty liner as a backup during heavy flow days.

Tips for comfort and confidence

Relaxation: Stay relaxed and take deep breaths during insertion to ease any tension. It may help to practice a relaxation technique, or even to make your first time part of a relaxing home spa experience, to give yourself more confidence.
Confidence: Remember, practice makes perfect. Be patient with yourself during the learning process.
Hygiene: Change tampons every 4 to 8 hours and never wear a tampon for more than 8 hours to reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).
Disposal: Wrap used tampons in tissue and dispose of them in the trash. Never flush tampons down the toilet.

Alternative menstrual products

Tampons might not be suitable for everyone, so consider other menstrual products such as:

Pads: Available in different sizes and absorbencies.
Menstrual Cups: Reusable silicone cups that collect menstrual blood.
Period Underwear: Absorbent underwear designed for period use.

Tampon FAQ

Q: Can I wear a tampon overnight?
A: Yes, you can wear a tampon overnight, but make sure to use the lowest absorbency needed and change it as soon as you wake up.

Q: Can I swim while wearing a tampon?
A: Yes, tampons are suitable for swimming, and they won’t get waterlogged if correctly inserted.

Advice for Parents

When they consider using them for the first time, girls may have various fears and concerns, including:

  1. Pain or Discomfort: The fear of pain or discomfort during insertion and removal can be a significant concern. Some young women may worry about potential discomfort or not knowing how to use them correctly.
  2. Lack of Familiarity: The fear of trying something new can be daunting. Some girls might feel more comfortable with pads initially, as they are easier to use and don’t involve internal insertion.
  3. Loss of Virginity: Some girls might mistakenly believe that using a tampon can affect their virginity, which can create anxiety and hesitation.
  4. Embarrassment or Shame: Young girls may feel embarrassed or ashamed when discussing intimate topics like menstrual products with their parents, friends, or peers.
  5. Leakage: Worries about and staining clothing or underwear can be a concern, especially if they’re not sure about how to use them correctly.
  6. Health and Safety: Concerns about potential health risks, such as Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), might make you hesitant.
  7. Difficulty in Insertion: Fear of not being able to insert correctly or worry that it might get stuck inside can be a worry.
  8. Removal Challenges: Some girls may fear that they won’t be able to remove the tampon properly, leading to discomfort or pain.
  9. Parental or Cultural Influence: Cultural beliefs or familial attitudes might create additional fears or barriers.

It’s essential to address these fears and provide support and education for girls. Encouraging open conversations about menstruation and menstrual products can help dispel misconceptions and alleviate anxieties. Additionally, starting with smaller-sized tampons, using water-based lubricants if needed, and following the instructions provided with the tampons can help make the experience more comfortable and less intimidating

Additional Resources for Further Information

There are many reliable sources of information about menstruation, tampons, and other menstrual products. Here are some useful resources:

  • Websites of reputable tampon manufacturers and menstrual health organizations.
  • Healthcare professionals, such as gynecologists or nurses.
  • Educational videos on YouTube by reputable sources.


Using tampons can be an excellent option for managing your menstrual flow. With proper education, understanding, and practice, you can use them safely and comfortably. Remember to choose the right one for your needs, prepare for insertion, and follow the step-by-step guide.

If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to troubleshoot or consider alternative menstrual products. Stay informed, practice good hygiene, and choose menstrual products that suit your body and lifestyle best.

Photo by Anna Shvets