Why does it hurt to put a tampon in?

Smiling teenage girl at school

You’re thinking about making the switch to tampons. Congrats! Maybe you’re getting ready for a day at the beach, or you want to show off your skills on the football pitch, or maybe you just want to try one out. Using a tampon is a great way to not let your period hold you back from doing what you want and from being your strong, confident self.

Do tampons hurt?

They shouldn’t. If your tampon does hurt, it usually means that something’s not quite right. In fact, when used properly, you’ll barely be able to feel your tampon.

Maybe you heard from a friend that tampons hurt. Why does it hurt to put a tampon in? you may be wondering. Here’s a little bit about why tampons don’t (or shouldn’t!) hurt. Tampons are held inside your body by the muscles of your vagina. Your vagina is naturally lubricated, which makes it easy to slide a tampon right the way in without it hurting. Tampons are designed to be just the right size and shape to fit into your vagina with ease.

How to put a tampon in without it hurting

If it hurts when you’re putting in a tampon, you may not be putting it in right. Here are some simple instructions on how to put a tampon in.

When putting in a tampon, keep in mind that your vagina is at a slight angle, and not straight up and down like it looks in diagrams. When inserting your tampon, be sure to aim it slightly towards your back for a more comfortable insertion. If you’ve been trying to put it in straight up, this may be why I it’s been hurting a little when you’ve tried to put a tampon in.

Another reason why it might hurt to put in a tampon is because you think it will. In other words, your nerves about inserting a tampon could be making you tense up ‘down there’. If you’re really afraid that inserting a tampon will hurt, your brain will send a signal to your vaginal muscles to clench up involuntarily – i.e., without you knowing it. So, take a deep breath and try to relax. It helps to take a deep breath in and insert the tampon as you’re breathing out.

Why does wearing a tampon hurt?

If you still feel your tampon after inserting it, it may not be in far enough. When your fingers are on the grip of the applicator, they should come into contact with your skin before you use the plunger to push the tampon out of the applicator and into your vagina. If you think your tampon isn’t in far enough, pull it out and try again with a new tampon.

If you find that your tampon hurts even after following these instructions, it may mean that you are using too high of an absorbency for your flow. Tampons are super absorbent, but if there isn’t enough fluid to absorb, this can leave your vagina feeling dry, which can be a little painful. Try going down an absorbency level.

If inserting or removing your tampon still hurts, keep in mind that your flow varies as you move through your period. The first few days of your period are usually heavier than the last few days. This means you’ll want to use a lighter absorbency for your last days than you do on your first few days.

If you’re new to using tampons, we recommend using Tampax Pearl Compak. They have a rounded tip that makes them extra comfortable and easy to insert.

Most importantly, don’t stress if you don’t get it on the first few tries. Practice makes perfect. You’ll get it eventually – we’re sure of it!

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