Tampons for beginners

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Are you considering using tampons for the first time? Do you have questions about how to use tampons? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn everything you need to know about this easy-to-use period protection if you’re thinking of using it for the first time.

What do tampons do?

Tampons are inserted into the vagina to absorb period flow. Because menstrual blood is absorbed before it hits the air and causes any odour, there's no unpleasant smell or feeling when wearing a tampon. It can be tricky to get the hang of inserting a tampon at first, and it may take a few tries, but once you find your vaginal opening and position the tampon at the right angle, it should slide in easily and painlessly. Each tampon also comes with a string attached, so when you’re ready to remove it, just tug on the string and it will come straight out. If you’re having trouble removing a tampon, try to relax your muscles.

Do tampons hurt?

If you insert a tampon correctly, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. Typically, you should not be able to feel the tampon at all during tampon use. But if you’re wondering why your tampon hurts, or why you can feel your tampon, then there are two common reasons for this. If you can feel your tampon, the most likely reason is that it’s not in the right position. Normally, this means it hasn’t been inserted far enough into the vagina and is too low. Another common cause of discomfort is using the wrong size (absorbency) for your flow. In both cases, you should simply remove the tampon and insert a new one. Each box of tampons comes with directions for you to follow, and some include pictures. Follow the instructions provided and consider using a tampon with a plastic applicator for a more comfortable insertion. Check out our guide here.

What tampon size should I use?

Tampons are available in a range of absorbencies for all types of flow. It’s best to use the lowest absorbency tampon you can while still getting the best protection. The right absorbency will also feel the most comfortable; if your tampon becomes saturated in less than four hours, try a heavier absorbency tampon. If after eight hours your tampon still isn't saturated and isn't easy to remove, or feels dry, try a lighter absorbency next time.

What’s the best tampon size for beginners?

You might want to start with the smallest size tampon until you figure out what works best for you. We recommend trying Tampax Pearl Compak Regular – it’s slender, easy to insert, and is designed for smooth removal on your lightest days. The better you get to know your own flow, the easier it will be to know which absorbency is best for you. For more information, check out our article on which tampon sizes you need here.

How often should I change my tampon?

After using tampons for one or two periods, you will learn how often you need to change your tampon to prevent leaks. It’s best to change your tampon every four to eight hours, as needed. Just make sure to never leave your tampon in for longer than eight hours.

Do I need to wear a pad with my tampon?

Sometimes it’s helpful to wear a pantyliner when you’re first getting used to tampons until you know how often to change it and which absorbency is best for you. Pantyliners offer thin protection that works well as a backup for tampon use.

Can I use a tampon overnight?

Yes, you can! Tampons can be worn for up to eight hours during the day or night. They give you full protection and stay in place no matter how much you move around when you sleep. But if you typically sleep more than eight hours every night, you should use a pad instead. Always remember to never leave your tampon in for longer than eight hours.

Can I use tampons for discharge?

No – you should only use tampons during your period to absorb menstrual blood. Remember, a little discharge is normal, and you can use ALWAYS pantyliners to stay fresh and dry.

Can you go to the toilet with a tampon in?

Because a tampon goes into your vagina to absorb menstrual fluid, you won’t have any trouble using the bathroom. Tampons don’t interfere with your other bodily functions. You can use the bathroom freely without having to change your tampon every time. Just move the string to the side to keep it clean, and you're good to go.

Can you exercise with a tampon in?

Tampons are the protection of choice when you're exercising or doing other physical activities. You can feel confident a tampon will stay in place while you're on the move. For athletic activities, especially those requiring tight-fitting outfits, such as ballet, gymnastics or skiing, tampon use is a great choice. Light exercise is also one of the best ways to ease cramps and take away that heavy, bloated feeling. Tampons are a comfortable and reliable form of protection whether you’re cycling, swimming, walking, or doing yoga.

Can you swim with a tampon in?

Unlike with a pad, you can wear tampons to go swimming, and when you're done, you don't have to take it out to shower. Tampons are also the only suitable form of menstrual protection to use while swimming.

Can you shower with a tampon in?

The same thing applies here as swimming. Tampax tampons have a LeakGuard™ braid to help stop leaks before they happen, so you can shower as normal without worrying about leaks.

As you can see, tampons are a great option for dependable and discreet period protection. Just remember to NEVER flush your tampon down the toilet, and make sure to never leave your tampon in for longer than eight hours.

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