Before and after inserting a tampon, always make sure your hands are super clean and have just been washed. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with your body as it’s easier to insert a tampon when you know where it’s going. So, get into a comfortable position (maybe try standing with one foot on the edge of the bath or the toilet), grab a small mirror, and place it between your legs and have a look. Find your labia (the lips or folds of skin covering the entrance to your vagina) and gently spread it open with your fingers to find the entrance to your vagina. This is where the tampon goes.
Hold the tampon firmly on either side of the dotted line and twist sharply in opposite directions. Remove the bottom piece of wrapper so that the string is exposed and pull the string so that it hangs down. Hold the tampon by the string and then remove the other half of the wrapper. Once you’ve unwrapped the tampon, make sure you don’t touch it too much or place it on any surface.
Tampons should be held at the end where the string is positioned. Try to stay as relaxed as possible so that the muscles around the vagina don’t tighten. And remember to stand with one leg on the toilet or a chair. Slant the tampon towards your lower back and ease it into your vagina by pushing it with your index finger as far as it will go. Just make sure you keep the tampon at an angle and don’t try and push it straight. This will help make things as easy and comfortable as possible. The string should also stay outside your body so you can easily remove the tampon later on.
You shouldn’t be able to feel the tampon if you’ve inserted it properly. If you feel any discomfort of pressure it may mean that you haven’t inserted the tampon far enough or correctly. If this is the case, try pushing the tampon in further, or remove it and try again. And don’t worry, there’s no chance of you pushing tampons in too far because the cervix (the opening to your uterus) is too small for a tampon to fit through – so tampons definitely can’t get lost! Just remember to stay relaxed and there’ll be no dramas!
A light tug on the string will tell you if it’s time to change the tampon. If the tampon doesn’t slide out easily you can leave it in for a bit longer. Tampons should be changed about every four hours, depending on the heaviness of your period. But, the tampon can be left in for a maximum of eight hours if it won’t budge.
To remove the tampon pull the string at the same angle at which the tampon was inserted. If you can’t find the string, don’t stress, just make sure your hands are clean, get into a squatting position, and remove the tampon with your fingers.
Don’t flush tampons and wrappers down the toilet – you might clog up the plumbing system and it’s bad for the environment. Just wrap it in some toilet paper (or put it in a bag) and place it in the bin or sanitary disposal unit.