How to use a tampon?

Black woman on roller skates riding outdoors

Pool parties, beach days, playing sports with friends. Wearing a tampon opens up a world of possibilities for you during your time of the month.

When it comes to using tampons (and just about anything else in life, too!), practice makes perfect and there’s nothing to be nervous about. With a little experience, you’ll be a tampon-wearing pro in no time.

Learning how to put a tampon in

Follow the instructions included in your tampon box, or click here for tampon instructions online.

A tampon tip for easy insertion: if you’re tensing up, take a few deep breaths and then insert your tampon. This will help your muscles relax. For your first time using a tampon, try it out when you’re not going to a big event or are in a rush. This can reduce stress and decrease the likelihood of tensing up, which will make the process more difficult.

Relaxing is important for easy tampon insertion. So, pick a nice, low-key, relaxed time to try out a tampon for the first time – like when you’re lounging around the house one evening. After this practice, you’ll be ready and feel confident wearing a tampon when you’re out and about doing sports, going to parties, holidaying… whatever!

Tampons vs pads

Part of learning how to wear a tampon is sussing out when it’s best to wear one versus when it’s best to wear a pad. If you think there’s a chance you may leave your tampon in for more than eight hours (like when you’re sleeping – not all of us wake up when our alarm goes off, after all!) opt for a pad instead. Tampons should only be worn for 4-8 hours. Never wear a tampon for more than eight hours. Doing so puts you at risk for an extremely rare but dangerous infection called TSS. (Read more about TSS here).

If you’re doing something like exercising during which your underwear (and your pad!) are likely to move around, opt for a tampon for extra reassurance that you won’t have any accidental leaks. Many girls also prefer to wear a tampon when they wear form-fitting outfits. There’s really no right or wrong, as long as you don’t wear your tampon for more than eight hours. Do what works best for you.

What does it feel like to wear a tampon?

A lot of girls think that wearing a tampon may hurt. It doesn’t! So, what does it feel like to wear a tampon? Well, nothing. You shouldn’t feel your tampon at all once it’s in. If you do, it’s not in far enough. But don’t worry – this is easy to fix. Use your finger to push your tampon in further or take it out and try again with a new one.

Another reason you may feel your tampon is because you’ve chosen the wrong absorbency for your flow.

Picking the correct absorbency

Tampons are made to be very absorbent. Picking the correct absorbency is key in learning how to wear a tampon. If there isn’t enough menstrual fluid to absorb, a tampon can make your vagina feel dry. This will result in you feeling your tampon when you’re wearing it. This means you should wear a lower absorbency tampon. Click here for more info.

On the other hand, if you find that you’re bleeding through your tampon string and staining your underwear after 4-6 hours, it’s time to go up an absorbency level. It’s normal to need a higher absorbency on the first day or two of your period, and then a lower level absorbency on the last days of your period. This is because your flow is not uniform throughout your period. Be sure to keep a few different absorbencies on hand if you choose to wear a tampon throughout your period.

Many girls also choose to wear a pantyliner like ALWAYS Dailies as extra backup when wearing a tampon. Pantyliners are helpful in absorbing any extra leakage that can happen if you don’t change your tampon on time. They provide peace of mind and confidence that you won’t stain your underwear.

Now that you know how to wear a tampon, Tampax away! The more you do it, the more confident you’ll feel. And then you’re free to go live your life and not let your period stop you from being you and doing whatever you want.

Check out Tampax’s new step-by-step guide to tampons and watch super helpful videos from a partnership with Tyla: