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Thinking of switching to tampons but don’t know how to insert it? Here’s help

Published on:15 July 2020, 19:36pm IST
A fuss-free alternative to sanitary napkins, tampons reduce your chances of staining. But unlike pads they are not as easy to wear.
Chetna Pattnaik
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Switching to tampons is a lifestyle change. Make sure you do it right. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock
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We’ve all heard so much about tampons but most are still unaware about how it functions. Made out of soft cotton pressed together to form a cylinder-like shape, tampons are designed such that they can be easily inserted into the vaginal opening. A tampon absorbs the blood without giving it a chance to leave the body. 

Yes, ladies, tampons open up a world of possibilities for you while you are on your period. Just like everything else in life, it is only with practice that you will get comfortable wearing them. 

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But before you get started, we are sure you have a lot of questions and concerns. Let’s address them. 

What tampon size would suit you the best?
When it’s your first time, it’s a good idea to use the ‘slender’ size since you are still in the learning process. To be able to glide the tampon in more easily. Also remember to insert it during a moderate to heavy flow. 

toxic shock syndrome
Tampons are a lifestyle change and they need you to be calm and patient through this change. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

What is the right absorbency?

Remember that tampons are made to be very absorbent. Picking the correct absorbency is very important. You know your pattern of flow the best. So, on days when there isn’t much flow, go for a lower absorbency tampon. If there isn’t enough menstrual fluid to absorb, a tampon can make your vagina feel dried out resulting in you being able to feel it while you are wearing it. 

However, if you’re bleeding through your tampon string and are staining within a span of 4 to 5 hours, it’s time to level up. Generally, you would need a high absorbency on the first two days and low absorbency on the last days of your period. 

sleeping with a tampon
Tampons can make handling your periods easy. But if you sleep with them, this is what you need to know. GIF courtesy: Giphy

Now that you know of the things to keep in mind while choosing your tampon, it’s time to learn how to use it:

1. Take deep breaths and focus: Try to relax. Take a few breaths, focus on calming thoughts. Take your own time. It’s about when you are ready for it, so take as much time as you need to prepare yourself mentally. The more relaxed you are, the easier the process becomes.

2. Wash your hands: Once you realize that your flow has gotten moderately heavy which means that the walls of your vagina are adequately moist, its time to glide that tampon in. So, wash your hands in order to keep your tampon (and applicator) sterile and free from any bacteria or infection threat. Wait till your hands are dry and then open the tampon packet.

3. Find your comfortable position: the idea is to make your vaginal opening more accessible. You could sit on the toilet spreading your legs, you could stand and squat a little or you could stand with one leg on the toilet or any elevated platform, anything that you are most comfortable with. With time, you will get used to what method works best for you.

4. Hold the tampon with your dominant fingers: Hold it at the spot where the smaller, inner tube inserts into the larger, outer tube. The string should point downwards, be away from your body but also be easily visible. The thick part of the tampon should be pointing up. You can also place your index finger on the base of the tampon and your middle finger and thumb on the provided grips.

toxic shock syndrome
It’s okay to have doubts about using tampons. Make sure you do enough research before you go for it. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Find your vagina: You have three openings; the urethra (the urine outlet), the vagina (the one in the middle) and the anus (in the back). Hold your labia – folds of skin around the vagina – open with the other hand and try to find your urethra, once that is done, your vagina should only be an inch or two below. Don’t panic if you get some blood in your fingers – that’s absolutely normal.

6. Place the top of the tampon in your vagina: Now that you’ve found your vagina, the next step is to place the tampon an inch (or so) into the top of your vagina. Start slowly pushing the tampon up till the point fingers touch the applicator and your body and the outer tube of the tampon is inside your vagina.

7. Press the thinner part of the applicator up with your index finger: The applicator is there for you to help push the tampon further inside. You can think of this as pushing the inner tube of the tampon through the outer tube. So, once you have done that, remove the applicator with your thumb and middle finger. Make sure the string is hanging out.

8. Dispose of the applicator: Read the instructions on the packaging. The disposal method depends upon what the applicator is made of.

9. Consider wearing a pantyliner along with your tampon: Though this isn’t necessary, you could wear pantyliners just in case your tampons start to leak a bit after absorbing as much menstrual fluid as they can. However, if you keep a fairly regular check that is unlikely to happen.

You would not be feeling the tampon if you follow these steps correctly. If you are, then you have probably inserted it wrong which is natural when you are trying it for the first time. In such a case, don’t panic and try again. Once you are done, remember to change it every 8 hours or sooner if required.

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Chetna Pattnaik Chetna Pattnaik

Understanding fitness the hard way, Chetna has finally learnt to strike a balance between her protein shake and her beer and making room for her writing desk and her gym at the same time.