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What are the Best Tips for First Time Tampon Use?

Lainie Petersen
Updated Jan 21, 2024
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Women or girls who are concerned about first time tampon use should ensure that they purchase tampons that are the correct size, that they have a small amount of personal lubricant available, and that they have a private place in which they can take their time in inserting the tampon. Though it is understandable that many women and girls would be nervous about first time tampon insertion, most tampon users do not experience any difficulty during the process. The key to successful first time tampon insertion is being comfortable and familiarizing oneself with one's own body. Packaging typically includes a diagram of female genitalia along with instructions for tampon use, and there are many books available on first menstruation and women's reproductive anatomy that can be of great use for those who are uncomfortable about using tampons.

Tampons come in various sizes and materials. Women and girls who have never given birth or who are still virgins may wish to select a smaller size tampon for first time tampon use. On the other hand, if a woman has already given birth vaginally, she may wish to choose a regular size tampon. Although tampons are made with both paper and plastic applicators, many women may find that a plastic insert is smoother and easier to use when they initially begin using tampons. Some tampon brands sell tampon assortments that include several different tampon sizes. Buying one of these assortments can make first time tampon use easier for women who may need some assistance in determining which size tampon to use.

Before a woman or girl inserts a tampon, she should first identify the location of her vaginal opening. She can do this by either sitting on a toilet, lying on her back with her legs spread, or by standing next to a toilet and putting one leg up onto the toilet seat. After washing her hands thoroughly, she should then spread the labia, the folds of skin that cover the vagina, and find the opening of her vagina. She can then insert a finger into her vagina so she knows exactly where she will be inserting the tampon. After she knows where she will be inserting the tampon, she can then attempt tampon insertion.

If a woman or girl has difficulty inserting a tampon, she can spread a thin layer of personal lubricant on its applicator so that it might slide in more easily. In all cases, the woman or girl should be unable to feel a properly inserted tampon inside her. If she can feel the tampon, she should try pushing the tampon in more deeply with a finger or removing it and starting again with a smaller tampon. If she continues to have difficulty during her first time, she may wish to see a doctor or midwife to determine whether there is a physical problem that makes tampon use difficult.

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Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By donasmrs — On Jan 12, 2014

First time tampon users, please select a small tampon and change the tampon frequently. I've been using tampons for years and I still use the small ones.

Large tampons absorb a lot and can stay in for longer but I think this is dangerous. There is a risk of infection with tampons and they have to be changed frequently to avoid this risk. A tampon should not stay in longer than 6-8 hours. It's best to change it every 3-4 hours which is what I do. A tampon infection can lead to a serious complication called toxic shock syndrome.

By bluedolphin — On Jan 12, 2014

@SarahGen-- The applicator is not difficult to use, just follow the directions. I think the applicator makes things easier because you know how far to insert the tampon. There will also be a string hanging from the tampon which will make it easy to remove later.

There are also tampons without applicators. I recommend learning with the applicator first and then trying the other ones when you get the hang of it. Remember, there should not be any pain or discomfort when using a tampon. If you feel discomfort, remove the tampon.

By SarahGen — On Jan 11, 2014

I just bought my first box of tampons and I'm reading the directions. I'm terrified! The applicator seems difficult to use.

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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