Forum: Advice / Girls Only PG-13

Tampon FAQs! (karma: 7)
By x_Nic_xmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 17, 2008 03:28 PM
Edited by x_Nic_x (180714) on 2008-06-17 15:30:08
Made sticky by oz_helen (35388) on 2008-06-17 22:43:30

Ok, so I’ve noticed a LOT of threads around DDN about tampons and people who are struggling to cope with them for the first time. I’m quite new to tampons as well and I can sympathize with these threads. However, I searched high and low for a Tampon FAQ sticky or something similar, and alas, there was not one! So I decided to make one. I’m pretty clued-up about them now, so I’m willing to share my wisdom with the dance world!

What’s a tampon?

Tampons are small, cyclindrical cotton plugs that are inserted and removed regularly into the vagina when a girl is going through her menstual cycle to absorb the blood flow. Tampons are often preferred to other methods (such as sanitary towels) because they are more practical (particularly in sport – including dance!), convenient and comfortable, when inserted correctly. They fit easily into the vagina and can be removed and disposed of easily as well, making periods a breeze!

I’ve never used a tampon before, but I’d like to give it a try. How should I go about it?

First of all, select a tampon type that will be the most suitable for you. Most tampon brands have a whole variety of tampon sizes and types that suit your period, depending on how heavy or light yours is. Tampon brands like Tampax also sell special beginners’ tampons, which are smaller and easier to put in than the regular tampons to help beginners cope with tampons more easily.

When selecting your tampon, it’s advisable to choose ones with applicators. A lot of tampons come with plastic or card applicators, which are designed to make inserting tampons as easy and quick as possible. A tampon applicator is virtually a kind of plastic or card syringe. When using a syringe, a smaller tube is pushed into a larger one to eject the liquid inside of it. This is the same with tampons – a smaller tube is inserted into a larger one (holding the tampon) which slowly ejects the tampon. Most tampons come with instruction leaflets to help you use the applicator correctly.

Am I too young to use tampons?

No – girls at any age can use tampons, granted that they have started their periods. Girls who are exceptionally young (9 or 10) may find tampons a struggle due to under-developed bodies, and it is wise that they wait until they are a few years older. A lot of girls prefer to wait until they are “ready” to use tampons, as going from sticking a pad on to your knickers to inserting a whole cotton plug inside your vagina is quite a step!

Can I wear tampons when I’m not on my period?

No – it is very advisable that they are not worn if they are not currently needed. Only start wearing tampons when your period has arrived – never in anticipation of it or in between periods. Apart from the fact it is a virtually pointless task, it can encourage bacterial growth, which can lead to certain problems you could really do without.

How do I put a tampon in?

Putting a tampon in easily takes a lot of practice, and most girls find that their first attempt is unsuccessful. Some beginners’ tampons come with extra-small applicators to make insertion as easy as possible for newbies – it is a good idea to opt for these on your first attempt.

The most important thing to remember when inserting a tampon is to relax and take your time. If you are tense, the muscles in your vagina are tense as well and the job becomes a lot more difficult. If there is an instruction leaflet, read all the instructions carefully before you begin and wash your hands.

Now, a common issue for girls is the worry that they can’t find the “right hole”. The best thing to do in this case is to inspect yourself in front of a mirror and make sure you know exactly where you’re going. Risk of sounding inappropriate, it’s a good idea to feel around a bit as well and practice putting your finger into your vagina so you know what to expect. Doing this also lets you understand the shape and direction of your vagina, which can sometimes be very different to what you were previously expecting.

Application isn’t easy when you’re standing up straight. Most girls have different positions to stand/sit in to make application as easy as possible. Some girls squat with their legs far apart, or sit on the toilet. Some girls (including myself) prefer to put one of their legs on a height, such as a chair or toilet seat. A friend of mine recommended pushing out like you’re peeing as you insert the applicator, as this widens the vagina.

Here’s the Tampax method of inserting a tampon using an applicator:

1. Remove the applicator from the wrapper. Find the grooved rings at the bottom of the outer tube. Use your thumb and middle finger to hold the applicator firmly on these rings. The removal cord should be hanging down from the inner tube. Water can be applied to the applicator or your vaginal wall before putting the applicator in as lubrication.

2. Use your other hand to fold back the skin that covers the opening of your vagina. Place the rounded tip of the applicator to your vaginal opening. Point the tip towards your lower back.

3. Remember the vagina slopes towards the bottom of your back, not straight up. Take a few breaths and then gently push the applicator in the vagina. Take your time – rushing is not necessary. As soon as your middle finger and thumb (grasping the applicator) reach your body, the applicator is in the right place. If the applicator doesn’t slide in easily, gently rotate it or move it to the right or left as you push.

4. Keep hold of the outer applicator tube. With your index finger, push the smaller tube all the way into the bigger tube (or use your other hand to push in the smaller tube). One tube is now inside the other. (Picture the syringe.)

5. Carefully remove the two tubes. The tampon should now be comfortably inside you, with the removal cord hanging outside your body.

Don’t expect to do it perfectly the first time. A lot of women find that they can’t get the tampon or applicator in on the first time, or that attempting it is painful. Don’t worry – practice makes perfect. The more you try it, the easier it will become.

How long should I keep the tampon in?

Tampons can be worn for intervals of 4 – 8 hours. This includes overnight – a tampon can be worn whilst sleeping, as long as it is inserted just before going to bed and is removed immediately once you’ve woken up.

How do I take the tampon out?

Tampons have strings attached to the ends of them, strings that hang outside of your body when the tampon is in. This is the removal string, used to literally pull the tampon out. To remove a tampon, bend your knees, stand with your feet apart, and relax. Grasp the string and gently pull the removal cord forwards at the same angle you used to insert the tampon. The tampon should slide out easily.

How do I dispose of it?

Tampons are bio-degradable and can either be flushed down the toilet or wrapped up and placed in a litter bin. Remember – it’s not nice to see an un-concealed used tampon floating around in a public toilet or litter bin, so please dispose of it hygeinically and think of the people that will be using the same toilet/bin.

I can’t get my tampon in – is there something wrong with me?

No, not at all. Tampons take practice and getting-used to. Some people find them easier to insert than others, but relentless practice and research can really ensure that anyone willing to wear a tampon will be able to eventually.

Will wearing a tampon mean I won’t leak?

When you’ve found the right tampon for you, leaking won’t be common. However, at first, it’s recommended that you wear a panty-liner on your knickers so if the tampon is not the right type for you, you won’t have any embarrassing accidents. Once you get to know your period and know which tampon is best for you, liners won’t be necessary.

Can I use the toilet with a tampon in?

Yes, you can. Tampons are worn in the vagina, which is separate from the urinary opening and the anal opening. When going to the loo, you can just hold the string out of the way, if you wish for it to remain dry!

I’m a virgin – can I still use a tampon?

Yes. The tampon doesn’t affect your virginity at all. The hymen is a soft flexible membrane which is broken through sex, but it does have a small opening through which the menstrual blood passes as it leaves the body. It is through this opening that tampons can be inserted and removed.

Can a tampon get lost in my body?

No – there is no-where for it to go! The opening at the top of the vagina is far too small to let a tampon go through, so have no fear – the tampon won’t float up into your womb. It will remain in the vagina until it is removed.

I put in a tampon but then forgot about it – what do I do?

Remove the tampon immediately. If the string is no longer hanging outside of your body, don’t panic – the tampon is still up there, but it may be a little trickier to remove. If you cannot remove it, seek medical help immediately. It is best that you seek medical help even if you HAVE removed it, to avoid any risk of infection or TSS.

What’s TSS?

TSS stands for Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare but serious illness. It occurs most in menstruating women who use tampons. It is caused by toxins produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus, a type of bacteria commonly found in the nose and vagina. TSS can occur in men, women and children, but is most likely to occur in teenage girls and women under 30. Early recognition and treatment of the symptoms are very important, as the illness can prove fatal.

What are the symptoms of TSS?

TSS can occur at any time during menstruation or shortly thereafter. It can start off as flu-like symptoms but rapidly progress into a serious illness. Here are the warning signs of TSS (although not all of them may not be present):
- High fever
- Vomiting
- Diarrhoea
- Rash that resembles sunburn
- Dizziness
- Muscle aches
- Fainting or near fainting when standing up
- Skin peeling (appears in later stages of the illness)

If you have one or more of these symptoms when using tampons, you must immediately remove the tampon, seek medical attention and inform your doctor that you use a tampon and are possibly concerned it is TSS. If you have had TSS in the past, it can come again – it is strongly advisable that you talk to your doctor about using tampons if you have had symptoms of TSS in the past.

How can I reduce the risk of TSS?

To reduce the risk of TSS occuring when using tampons, it is recommended that you use a pad instead of a tampon at least once a day during your menstrual cycle and to use the tampon with the minimum absorbency required to meet your needs. Alternatively, you can eliminate the risk of menstrual TSS by not using tampons at all, but do not fear tampons because of possible TSS – the illness is rare.

So there we are, DDN! Frequently Asked Questions regarding tampons, to help those who are less informed. I apologise for the lack of helpful pictures, but I’m pretty clueless when it comes to image hot-linking. As I mentioned, I’m still fairly new to tampons, so my answers will probably be far from perfect. Feel free to input your own advice and information regarding tampons to help any other new DDNers cope with them more easily. I just hope these tampon FAQs will help beginners be as safe and hygienic as possible when it comes to tampons!

19 Replies to Tampon FAQs!

re: Tampon FAQs!
By Dancing_Forevermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 17, 2008 05:56 PM
Edited by Dancing_Forever (50177) on 2008-06-17 18:01:56 adding link to other post
I was just thinking about how there are zillion new posts about tampons too!

One thing to add: I have seen a few posts asking about the difference between tampons with and without applicators.

Tampon with cardboard applicator=

Image hotlink - ''

Tampon with plastic applicator= (this is the only picture I could find)

Image hotlink - ''

(you push the first part into your vagina and then when your fingers reach your body you push the end of the applicator into the first part)

Tampon without applicator=

Image hotlink - ''

(you just use your fingers to insert it)

*You could also refer to this post: . . .

Anyways, just thought those pics might help! But great post! I'm sure it will help a lot of girls! I'm not sure how many of these questions are answered in the period FAQ sticky already, but I think there should be a sticky exclusively about tampons because of all the questions.
re: Tampon FAQs!
By Orionmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 17, 2008 06:31 PM
Yeah, I just noticed the massive amounts of tampon threads around here. Thanks a lot! Looks like you put tons of work into this.

My only advice to the general public is RELAX. I couldn't get one in until I tried at three AM when I was half asleep, and suddenly, it worked! Magic how that happens. After the first time, it's a whole lot easier.
re: Tampon FAQs!
By pointewannabemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Jun 17, 2008 08:42 PM
Great post, helped me a lot! I'm going to go buy a new box of tampons now!!

Karma Sprinkles for YOU!

(I don't know where I came up with "sprinkles" by the way, haha)
re: Tampon FAQs!
By x_Nic_xmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:10 PM
May I just add...

Beginner's tampons = smaller applicators = quite frankly amazing.

Take my word on that :)
re: Tampon FAQs!
By pointewannabemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:32 PM
^ I completely agree...I had no clue there were different sizes and have been trying to use regular hurt sooo much! Thankfully my mom clued me in :P
re: Tampon FAQs!
By Dancing_Forevermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Wed Jun 18, 2008 07:55 PM
^If you try using the compact ones they are super small as well...both in terms of size to stick your your pocket or purse, and the thiness when you use it. The first time I tried using a super it was so hard to get in, but when I bought the compact ones they were so much easier to use, not to mention more convenient to carry around!
re: Tampon FAQs!
On Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:56 PM
Thank you! You helped so much! Haha, I'm only 13, but I was so scared!
re: Tampon FAQs!
By x_Nic_xmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Jun 29, 2008 03:53 AM
Good to know :)

I was hoping this thread might ease the flow of tampon threads popping up, but I've noticed another two have come streaming in... sigh!
re: Tampon FAQs!
By twinkletoes08member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Jul 18, 2008 07:13 AM
Hii. Im 14, and i wanna try to use them, but i darnt ask mum, :S Im kinda nervous about using them too,
re: Tampon FAQs!
By miraclefrmheavnmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:09 PM
Edited by Rainbws_Watrflls (197101) on 2008-12-11 22:11:09
I just want to say please, please, please, please, do not flush your tampons in toilets. When the tampons get full, they expand and they will clog up your toilets. When I worked at one job I thought someone had stuck a hairbrush or something into a toilet. Upon paging the cleaning people to come investigate, someone had stuck a bloody tampon instead that had expanded clogging the entire toilet. Well it looked like a white brush or something. I did not know. But it was majorly embarrassing and thankfully the cleaning 'man' had a sense of humor!

But goodness grief please do not ever flush a tampon in the toilet.

Great post otherwise. I personally love the OB tampons without the applicators. They expand all around and the fit is really comfortable. I'm using one right now matter a fact. LOL! I should add, I was well into my 20s before using tampons. I would never stop using OB. I like them very much. You can order a free sample online too.

Great post!
re: Tampon FAQs!
By as_linden_leaf
On Sun Jan 25, 2009 01:12 AM
My cousin is fifteen, has had her period for about 3 years, and wants to start using tampons. Problem: she's worried about getting 'icky stuff'--like germs and so on 'up there'. Is a quick hand-rinse before she inserts it fine to avoid any problems?

I've always used pads, and so I've realized I don't know. Advise?
re: Tampon FAQs!
By Piano_on_Pointemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Mar 21, 2009 09:56 PM
Washing your hands before inserting a tampon is good hygeine, but isn't necessary. Tampons have a wrapper that are sanitary. So as long as the tampon goes from the freshly opened wrapper to being used, everything will be fine. Now washing your hands AFTER is highly necessary.

Tampons are so much more convinent than pads. It's like you're not even on your period most of the time when you have it in. You really should try them. I started using them on my 3rd period. It took me literally an entire 20 count box of tampons to finally get one in. :P
re: Tampon FAQs!
By keepdancingx19
On Tue Mar 24, 2009 09:35 AM
thanks for this post!
very helpfulllll!!!
re: Tampon FAQs!
By stripedballerinamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun May 23, 2010 07:09 PM
very helpful, but I still have a question.
I recently started wearing tampons, I'm 21 years old and not a virgin, the first time the only problem I had with the tampon was that I could feel it, so I guessed I did not put it far enough, it didn't hurt while inserting or anything, but then a couple of times I experienced problems, like it hurt to put it in, like my vagina was hurting or something , but the strange thing is that I only feel pain sometimes, like this morning I had to throw one away because I couldn't insert it and than I tried again and it got in easily...
so I'm kind of confused, has this happened to anyone else?
re: Tampon FAQs!
By KeepOnSinginPremium member
On Sun May 23, 2010 08:44 PM
^ I had that same problem when I first started using tampons. It's probably painful because you're (subconsciously) tensing up your muscles. Try to relax and you should be good!
re: Tampon FAQs!
By b3452
On Tue May 25, 2010 12:47 AM
I always have trouble with tampons. The first time I used one it went in fine and everything, but I could feel it and it was really uncomfortable, and it was hard to take out. The second time it was really hard to insert for some reason, like there was pressure or something. I made sure to insert it all the way at an angle though, but I could still feel it, and it felt like it was going to fall out when I was dancing. So, I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong :/
re: Tampon FAQs!
By cara_dancermember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Oct 22, 2010 12:32 PM
Im 14 and also have trouble inserting tampons :/ sometimes it hurts for some reason even though im relaxing or other times i can feel it and its uncomfortable :( any help?
re: Tampon FAQs!
By RibenaRockstar
On Mon Mar 21, 2011 04:48 PM
Cara, if I were you I'd just relax a little (easier said than done, I know). Maybe go back to pads for a month or two, and then try again.

I'm here because I finally managed it! I'm one of these weird people who successfully inserted one in their first period, and then I had trouble getting it out, and didn't manage to use one for nearly four and a half years. I think that this summer might just be the summer when I don't have to go on the Pill to stop me having a period =P
re: Tampon FAQs!
By Attitude1407
On Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:05 AM
I should have read these FAQs before trying a tampon for the first time... I'm expecting my period around the time of a performance, in which I wear a white tutu. Not good. I'm hoping not to have to wear a bulky pad either, though, so I thought I'd try combining a tampon and a pantiliner. I don't have my period now but I tried putting in a tampon today so I'd have practice before showtime if I need it, and it HURT. It went in, but I couldn't leave it in because it hurt too much. Is that probably because everything was dry? I also think it may be too big - I wish I'd known about compacts/beginner tampons before I bought the regular ones!


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