How to ACTUALLY Use a Tampon (hint: not in your ‘poop hole’) February 12 2014
A teenager recently recalled how the first time she tried to use a tampon, she put it in her “poop hole.” Her words, not mine, but you certainly get the point.
At 14, I remember being nervous about two things: 1) How to drive a car (like, how does everyone stay in the lines!?) and 2) How to use a tampon.
I got driving lessons.
I didn’t get tampon lessons.
Since many girls are self taught, let’s give them the best owner's manual.
A) Know your anatomy. On a day when you don’t have your period, get a mirror and check it out. Rest assured, everyone’s color, size and shape are unique. It’s a pretty elaborate system you’ve got there, with three openings.
- The tiny, uppermost hole is the urethra, where you pee. (You wouldn’t be able to insert a tampon there if you tried. But… don’t try.)
- The middle, elongated-shaped hole is the vaginal opening. This is where you bleed and where the tampon is inserted. It's also the birth canal for a baby and where intercourse would take place.
- The anus is the farthest back. And because it’s the “poop hole,” there is bacteria present. So if you touch the area, make sure you wash throw away the tampon if you come in contact. (this is also why you should always wipe from front to back – because back to front can spread bacteria.)
B) Relax and insert.
Tampons should not hurt. The biggest cause of discomfort is tensing up when trying to insert one. Make sure to relax and notice the natural angle of your body (the vagina is on a slant, not exactly vertical). Hold the folds of skin (labia) away from the opening with your less dominant hand (for most, the left). And hold the tampon in your dominant hand (right): the thumb and middle finger hold the tampon where the two sections of the applicator overlap. The pointer finger rests gently on the end of the ‘plunger’ where the string hangs out. (see photo above)
Place the rounded tip of the applicator at the vaginal opening and gently press the plunger with your pointer finger until the smaller half of the applicator is about 90% inside the larger half. Then pull the whole thing out and dispose of the applicator. The cotton tampon will be in place. If it’s “stuck” in the applicator, just dispose and try again with a new one. If the tampon feels like it’s hanging out, or it feels uncomfortable, you can either insert it fully with your finger, or remove by the string and begin again.
TIP #1: Only practice when you’re bleeding OR use a lubricant (a bit of olive oil will do! But don’t use a petroleum jelly like, Vaseline).
TIP #2: The Twist... it took me years to figure this out! instead of inserting the tampon straight in, rotate it as you’re pushing (like a screw). It really helps avoid friction with skin, especially if it’s a lighter, less ‘slick’ day.
C) Any female can use one.
There is no minimum age. It does not affect ‘virginity.’ And they will stay in place during sports or other activities. Your finger is a good rule of thumb (heh). If you can comfortably insert a finger, a regular tampon will be no different.
D) Do’s and Don’ts.
Do wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon. Do use the restroom as usual (the tampon will not fall out when you’re peeing). Do double check that you’ve removed an old tampon before inserting another (I don’t know many women who haven‘t forgotten about a tampon and accidentally inserted a second one.) Don’t throw the applicator in the toilet. Don’t leave a tampon in for more than 6 hours. Don’t panic if you lose the string. The vagina is not THAT deep. You’ll be able to find it with your finger, and letting gravity work it’s magic for an hour can help too. DO USE ORGANIC!! Seriously. If you don’t use our brand, use another. I can’t stress this enough. Studies show that chemicals absorbed internally – which are not metabolized through digestion – can appear thousands of time higher in the blood stream than if you ate it. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t insert it!
E) Pay attention.
Most women only lose between 1 tablespoon and 1/4 cup of blood during the length of their period. Figuring out how often to change your tampon is a bit of trial and error, so you may want to wear a panty liner to save those cute undies you love.
TIP #3: Let her breathe. Unless it’s a heavy day, give yourself some time between tampons. I don’t mean, sit in the bathroom for five minutes… I mean, wear a liner and go about your day for 20, 30 or 40 minutes. It’ll make the next insertion easier.
Driving lessons helped me get behind the wheel the first time. Hopefully this will help someone have an easier time with tampons for the first time.