If you use or want to use tampons during your period, it is important to know the basics for how to use them safely. Did you know The FDA regulates tampons as medical devices, and emphasizes the importance of using them properly? If you don’t use tampons correctly you could put yourself in potential danger of toxic shock syndrome and other infections.
What is a tampon?
A tampon is a small and discreet feminine hygiene product designed to absorb the menstrual flow. It is to be inserted in the vagina and worn as it soaks up menstrual blood. A tampon collects the blood before it leaves the vagina unlike pads or panty liners.
Choosing the right type of tampon:
Tampons come in different “sizes”, they are based on absorbency such as light, regular, super and super plus – so depending on your flow you can chose the right size. Each box specifies the amount of absorbency you need for your flow and what size will work best, always try the lightest absorbency first and get a bigger size as needed. Never wear a tampon for longer than 6 hours as it can be dangerous for your body.
Most tampons come with applicators made of either plastic or cardboard that help you insert the tampon into your vagina, those without an applicator are inserted using your finger.
You can chose the right style tampon due to your lifestyle needs. If you are very active try a tampon that has “sport” protection, or if you have a very heavy period try super or super plus sizing.
How to use a tampon:
Once you choose what tampon you want, you’ll want to wash your hands and get into a relax position.
- Sit on the toilet, squat, or put one leg up on the toilet whatever is most comfortable
- Open the packaging of the applicator – hold the tampon with a grip on the middle, place it between your thumb and middle finger. Keep your index finger on the end on the tube (where the cord extends)
- Using the tip of the tampon applicator push into your vagina – then slide the entire barrel inside, angling towards the back. (the tampon won’t go in smoothly and may be painful if inserted straight up)
- Insert the applicator as far as your middle finger and thumb hit the outside of the vagina
- Once the barrel is comfortably inside, hold the grip and push with your index finger on the smaller end to push the tampon inside your vagina.
- Using your thumb and middle finger pull out the applicator, leaving the string to hang out. Do not pull the string until the tampon is ready to be removed.
- Place the applicator back inside the packaging or wrap in toilet paper and dispose in trash – not the toilet.
If you can still feel your tampon, you probably didn’t insert it deep enough. Pull it out and try it again – pushing it up higher! Your tampon should feel comfortable and cause no discomfort when wearing it.
Removing a tampon:
You should change your tampon every 4 – 6 hours to avoid leaks and Toxic shock syndrome (TSS). When removing a tampon sit over the toilet and carefully grab the string between two fingers, and firmly pull out. Be as relaxed as possible so the tampon can slide out gently. Wrap used tampon inside of toilet paper and dispose of properly in garbage can or in a feminine disposal container.
Tampons are a great choice to help manage your flow, once you get used to wearing one you don’t feel it and will have complete flexibility with your activities!