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The Ultimate Guide to Using a Tampon the Right Way

The Ultimate Guide to Using a Tampon the Right Way

Sooo, how do I put in a tampon?

Using a tampon is easier with a little preparation, the right products, and accurate info. Fortunately, we’re here for all of it! If you’ve ever felt intimidated or confused about how to use a tampon—you’re not alone (it’s not that intuitive, tbh)! Truth is, it can take time to be comfortable using them. The good news: We’ve got great resources. Here’s what you need to know.

Choose the right one for you

Selecting a tampon is all about what’s best suited to your personal needs and preferences. Some people like tampons with applicators, and some prefer those without. You do you!

Choose an option that is most appropriate for your flow—whether it’s light, regular, or heavy. If your flow fluctuates during your period, stock up on a variety!

One important PSA: Leaving tampons in for too long can lead to bacterial overgrowth that may lead to toxic shock syndrome. Some health guidelines recommend choosing the lightest absorbency tampon possible. Wondering how often should you change a tampon? It's recommended every 4-8 hours.

Step-by-step instructions

It’s easiest to put in a tampon when you’re comfortable—big surprise! Some prefer to sit on the toilet with their knees shoulder-width apart. Others prefer to stand or prop up one leg on a higher surface, while sipping coffee. There’s no single, perfect position; it really depends on what makes putting in tampons easiest for you and your body!

How to put in a tampon with a traditional applicator

With clean hands, remove the tampon from the wrapper carefully. You’ll want to make sure the tampon and applicator stay together!

Some applicators will have a wider tube and a thinner tube. These tubes form the applicator and will not stay inside you once you’ve inserted the tampon.

Gently, and without pulling the tubes completely apart, pull the two tubes away from each other to fully extend the applicator.

The grip is the section between the two pieces of your applicator. Pinch the grip with two fingers, typically your thumb and middle finger. (Note: If this motion is painful or uncomfortable, might we suggest using a tampon insertion aid like TINA?)

Put the tip of the applicator into your vaginal opening. Position the wider end of your tampon applicator at your vaginal opening. Put the applicator inside you until your gripping fingers touch your body, then push up the thinner end of the applicator until you meet your other fingers at the grip. This motion will push the tampon into place.

Remove the applicator from your body and dispose of it properly. The tampon string should be hanging outside your body so you can use it to remove the tampon. Wash your hands and go do whatever fun thing you had planned today.

How to put in a tampon without an applicator

Tampons also come without applicators—skrrt! Some people prefer them because you use your index finger to put them in; using a finger offers more flexibility than tube-shaped applicators. Just like a tampon with an applicator, it can take time, patience, and practice to use those without applicators. They also follow the same first few steps!

Start with clean hands, get comfortable, and unwrap the tampon!

Locate the tampon string. It will be right up against the tampon. Wondering how much of the tampon string should stick out? It should hang outside your body.

Holding the string, twist it to make an indent in the bottom of the tampon. That’s where you’ll position your finger to insert the tampon.

Use your free hand to gently move the skin of your vagina away while you hold the tampon with your thumb and middle finger. Using your index finger, push the tampon inside your vagina as you angle it toward your back.

Push in the tampon until you reach the base of your finger.

The tampon string should be hanging outside your body so you can use it to remove the tampon. Wash your hands and go about your gorgeous day.

What if I’m not able to put in a tampon?

If you can’t put in a tampon, a tampon insertion aid like TINA may help. You may need some assistance because you’re new to tampons and don’t have the hang of them yet, or you may have a disability that limits your mobility or grip (like arthritis). Putting in tampons also can be tough if you can’t reach over your body. It’s possible to mitigate those challenges with a tampon insertion aid like TINA, which helps you put in tampons at the right angle and depth—every single time! It also offers more comfort, consistency, and confidence without leaks or stress. Want to learn more? Visit tinahealthcare.com.

Other Common Questions:

Um. What hole does the tampon go in? Hey, this is an important question and we’re glad you asked. The tampon should go into your vaginal opening. It's important to understand your anatomy to ensure you're inserting it correctly!

Can you poop with a tampon? Yes, you can totally poop with a tampon in. Just be sure to hold the string to keep it clean.

Can you accidentally put a tampon in the urethra? No, it's very unlikely because the urethra is much smaller and difficult to access by mistake.

Can you shower with a tampon in? Yes, you can shower with a tampon in. It's safe and won't affect the tampon.

Can I sleep with a tampon in? Yes, but make sure to change it right before bed and first thing in the morning to avoid leaving it in for too long!

What questions and concerns do you have about putting in a tampon? Feel free to contact us or share your experiences with the TINA community.

  1. FDA. The Facts on Tampons—and How to Use Them Safely. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. 2020 September 30. [cited 2023 March 8]. Available from: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/facts-tampons-and-how-use-them-safely

  2. CTanya Tantry, MD. Tampons Without Applicators: A How-To Guide. Flo. 2020 April 24. [cited 2023 March 8] Available from: https://flo.health/menstrual-cycle/lifestyle/hygiene-and-beauty/tampons-without-applicators

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