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Tampons 101: A Beginner’s Guide for First-Time Users

Have you ever gone to the beach, or maybe a pool, excited to cool off on a hot summer day? Then your day is ruined because of your period? Not to worry, tampons have your back! Tampons are a game changer. They let you do whatever you want while you’re on your period like sports, swimming and physical activities without feeling like you’re walking around in a diaper. If you’re unsure how to use a tampon, here is a beginner’s guide to help you tackle your first time.

Feel Ready

Before you actually start wearing tampons, you need to feel ready. Tampons can seem intimidating at first, but it gets a lot easier after you know what to do. A good suggestion is to do some research and maybe watch a couple of YouTube videos that can help you get the gist of it. Of course, if you still feel like you’re not ready, stick to pads or other period products you’re comfortable with.

Choose the Right Size

Now that you’re ready to use a tampon, it’s time to find the right size. Just like pads, tampons come in different sizes, too, which you choose from based on how heavy your flow is. If you have a heavier flow, then a bigger size is recommended. If you have a lighter flow, then a smaller size would be better for you. As a beginner, a regular-sized tampon is a good start. Typically, you should switch out your tampon every 4-7 hours, but you can change your tampon as frequently as you need

Now it’s Time to Put it in

So now it’s time to put your tampon in. Here are the steps you need to take to successfully insert a tampon:

1. Wash your hands. Hygiene is important, especially when dealing with your vagina.

2. Look at your tampon to see how it works. You’ll see that there is a thicker part at the top (the barrel) and a thin rod (the plunger), both made of either plastic or cardboard.

3. Make sure you have located the right hole.

4. Get into a comfortable position. You can either sit on your toilet with your legs wide open or stand up with one leg on the toilet.

5. Relax. If you’re not relaxed, your vaginal area becomes tighter, making it harder to insert the tampon. Relaxing will not only make the process easier, but it’ll make you feel better, as well.

6. When inserting the tampon, start from the barrel of the tampon and put it inside the hole until you reach the end of the barrel. Hold the end of the barrel with your middle finger and thumb when inserting. Make sure you don’t press the plunger in yet or else the tampon cotton will fall out.

7. Ensure that the angle of your tampon is correct. The angle of your tampon should be at around a 45-degree angle. If the angle isn’t correct, the tampon will not go in properly.

8. Once you’ve got that angle, it’s time to push the tampon in. You can either use your index finger or your other hand to push the plunger. Make sure to push it in slowly so the tampon cotton can go in smoothly. Push the plunger until it meets the barrel (where you stopped after inserting).

9. Take out the thick tube by simply pulling it out and you’re done!

After it’s in

Now that you’ve successfully inserted your tampon, here are some things to remember:

1. Do NOT leave your tampon in for more than 8 hours. If you do, you may get Toxic Shock Syndrome. This is a fatal problem and you should remember to change your tampon frequently. I’m not saying this to scare anyone from using tampons, but this is something you must be careful about. You can find more information online for symptoms and treatments.

2. When removing the tampon, be sure to take it out slowly and gently. Remember to relax your muscles in the vaginal opening to make it easier to pull out.

3. In the case that your tampon gets stuck (which rarely happens), don’t panic. There are many ways to remove a tampon that you can find on the web. Just relax and try your best to push it out.

Tampons are not as hard as they seem. With a little bit of practice and patience, you will get it right. Now you can enjoy your summer to the fullest without your period stopping you!

Sahaana Jeevendra

Wilfrid Laurier '24

My name is Sahaana Jeevendra. I'm a first year student at Wilfred Laurier University studying Business Administration. Some of my aspirations for the future are being a successful woman, be happy, and continue to live life to the fullest.
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