Top 5 Tampon Questions Answered And Helpful Tips For New Users

teen girls
kal9/Getty images

The tampon is one of the most convenient and one of the oldest feminine hygiene products. 

Women have recognized the convenience of tampons for centuries. In fact, it is thought that the ancient Egyptians were the first to use tampons to manage their menstrual flow. Historical records suggest that these original tampons were made out of softened papyrus plant.

Modern day tampons are made out of cotton, rayon or a combination of these materials.

There are several different brands and they come in different sizes.

If you are a teen who is just getting used to having a period (and all the symptoms that go along with it) the thought of inserting a tampon into your vagina may be very intimidating. But tampons are a very convenient way to manage your menstrual flow. You just need to understand how they work and get comfortable with the idea of using them. 

Here are  5 common questions about tampons. Hopefully, the answers will help you with your decision to use this convenient feminine hygiene product during your period.

1) Are Tampons Uncomfortable To Use?

The key to comfortable, secure protection during your period is the proper insertion of the tampon. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time, it might take a few tries before you get a comfortable fit. When you are trying to insert the tampon just remember that you need to relax the muscles of your pelvic floor.

Sitting on the toilet or standing and placing one foot on the edge of your bathtub are tricks that could make tampon insertion a little easier. Just keep trying and soon you’ll have a comfortable, secure fit every time!

That being said, a very small amount of young women will continue to struggle with tampon insertion.

If you are unable to use a tampon because insertion is painful or continues to be very difficult you should discuss this with your doctor. It is possible that you have a minor structural anomaly of you vagina called a vaginal septum.

Tampons soak up menstrual blood internally before it leaves your vagina. Make sure to follow the instructions for tampon insertion that come in each package of tampons.

2) What About the Applicator?

Most tampons come with applicators that help make it easier to insert them into your vagina. Tampon applicators may be made of cardboard or plastic. Always make sure to remove the tampon applicator from your vagina after inserting your tampon. You need to change your tampon on average every four to eight hours depending on your flow. All tampons come with a string on the end that you pull on to remove your used tampon.

3) Can A Tampon Get Lost In My Vagina?

Some girls and teens worry that a tampon could get lost in the vagina, or that it could slip into the uterus. Don’t worry, tampons cannot get lost in the vagina or slip through the cervix and into the uterus. The small cervical opening allows menstrual blood pass through into the vagina but is not large enough to allow a tampon to enter the uterus.

Also, your vagina is a blind pouch and it does not connect to the inside of your body.

If you can't find the string to easily pull your tampon out don't panic! When you put a tampon in your vagina it is in your vagina until you take it out. 

4) Can I Go Swimming With A Tampon In My Vagina?

Girls who enjoy swimming can continue to enjoy the activity even during menstruation by wearing tampons. Be sure to change your tampon right after you swim even if it wasn't in for very long. Usually, your tampon will absorb some water and that will make it less effective in absorbing your menstrual flow 

5) Are Tampons Dangerous To Use?

If you decide to use tampons during your period, the most important thing you need to remember is to use the proper absorbency tampon.

That means using a tampon with the lowest level of absorbency for your flow. All tampons manufactured in the U.S. use standard absorbency guidelines.

Most girls and women can use tampons throughout their reproductive years without any problems. However, failure to change tampons often enough or using tampons with a higher than required absorbency label can put you at risk of developing toxic shock syndrome or TSS –- a rare and dangerous disease.

A Word From Verywell

There is plenty of myth and misinformation out there about tampon use during your period. Bottom line is that when used appropriately tampons are an effective and very convenient way to manage your menstrual flow.


Updated by Andrea Chisholm MD


Getting Your Period;;; accessed 12/30/2015.

Continue Reading