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Applicator Tampon: Cardboard or Plastic

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Dear BeingGirl Experts,

I was reading how you put in a tampon, and it said you needed to twist the cardboard. Does that hurt? Is it easier to use a cardboard or plastic applicator?




Dear Molly,

Before I get to your questions, let me share a few things we have learned from girls when they first started using tampons. Most girls are a little nervous the first time they try inserting a tampon. This is normal. Learning any new technique can be uncomfortable, and tampon insertion is a new technique for you. It may or may not be actually painful, when you first try to insert it, but a tampon placed correctly is not felt and, therefore, is very comfortable.  After a few times, the insertion becomes automatic and you really don't feel anything. Tampon insertion should always be tried when you have your period. Having your period will make the tampon easier to insert because of the lubrication your menstrual flow provides. Another reason you may be nervous about tampons is you don't understand much about them. For that reason, you are smart to get answers to the questions you have because this will make using a tampon the first few times less stressful.


Twisting the cardboard when you insert it does not hurt because you are inserting a tampon when you have your period. This is because the vagina is moist and well lubricated from the menstrual flow. Tampax Flushable Cardboard tampons, have shiny, smooth, cardboard applicators, are biodegradable and flushable and as easy to insert as plastic applicator tampons. Remember tampons should only be inserted when you have your period.


We hear from girls who tell us the Tampax Pearl Lites worked well when they first tried a tampon. The Pearl Lite is our lowest absorbency tampon with the smallest applicator and may allow you to insert it without feeling it. Once you get the technique down, you can switch to the Tampax Flushable Cardboard tampons. Check out for the insertion details.


As with any new learning experience, it can take some practice to learn how to insert a tampon easily.


Hope this is helpful,

Your BeingGirl Experts

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comments so far
Posted August 25, 2014
One time I tried a cardboard tampon. I didn't like it because the end of the larger tube can rub against the side of you if you insert it at even the slightest wrong angle. To where as a plastic applicator has a smooth rounded tip so you hardly feel any discomfort even if you are a beginner. I only use cardboard lights cuz they are smaller. Make sure you read the instructions in the box. Hope this helped!
Posted April 14, 2014
yes! 1st comment!


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