How old do you have to be to use tampons? As soon as you start having your period, you’re old enough to use Tampax tampons. Most girls can start using them immediately, but some like to use pads for a few cycles to see how heavy or light their flow is. Can I use a tampon overnight? Yes. Tampax tampons can be worn for up to eight hours during the day or night. They give you full protection, and stay in place no matter how much you flip around when you sleep! One thing, though, if you usually sleep more than eight hours, you should use an Always pad instead. A tampon should be removed after eight hours. Can tampons be used for discharges other than menstrual fluid? No—you should only use Tampax tampons during your period. Remember, a little discharge is normal and you can use Always pantiliners for that if you like. (If you think you have a lot of discharge between periods, talk to your doctor.) Can I use two Tampax tampons at the same time? No. Only use one tampon at a time. If you’re worried that your flow is too heavy, use our Super Plus absorbency size, or use a pad with a tampon for extra protection. When I use a tampon, should I wear a pad, too? Sometimes it’s helpful to wear a pantiliner when you’re first getting used to tampons until you know how often to change them and which absorbency is best for you. What kind/size to use? Should I use tampons with cardboard or plastic applicators? This is totally up to you. Some girls/women like plastic applicators because they find them easier to insert. Others like paper since they’re flushable. Try both and see which you prefer. How do I know if I should use tampons or pads? It’s totally your choice. Some girls and women think Tampax tampons help make their periods easier and less stressful because they can still do what they usually do—even go swimming! But which type of protection to use is a personal choice only you can make. What size tampons should I use? It’s best to use the lowest absorbency tampon you can—while still getting the best protection (don’t forget—don’t leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours). The right absorbency tampon will also be the most comfortable. For more information on tampon usage, see the product information section. Should small women or girls use smaller size tampons? There’s no medical reason to believe that women who are physically small need a specially designed tampon. Very small women (whether short or thin) can have babies of normal size—this means that their reproductive abilities are normal with respect to size. The absorbency of the tampon you choose should be based on the amount of menstrual flow you have, and not your physical size. Larger women and girls should use larger pads for extra protection, and Always offers a variety of pads in many sizes. Will I get an allergic reaction if I use deodorant tampons? Deodorants are a form of perfume. Like any perfume, some people are sensitive to them. Only you will know if this is the case for you! Will I still be a virgin if I use tampons? Yes. A virgin is someone who hasn’t had sexual intercourse. It has nothing to do with using tampons. The hymen, a flexible membrane that partially covers the vaginal opening, is usually still intact for girls who haven’t had sexual intercourse. Most girls can slide a tampon in through that same opening that lets menstrual fluid out without affecting the hymen. Can a tampon get "lost" inside of you? No way! There’s no place for it to go. The tampon goes into the vagina. At the top of the vagina is the opening of the cervix. This opening is tiny—about as thick as a pencil point. That’s far too small to let a tampon through to any other part of your body. Besides, the tampon is held in place by the walls of your vagina until you pull gently on the cord to remove it. Can a tampon fall out? When properly inserted, a tampon is held in place by the muscles around the entrance to the vagina, so it can’t fall out. Use the guide at the end of this article to learn how to properly insert a tampon. What if a tampon gets stuck? A tampon can’t get "stuck" inside you. After you put the tampon in, the muscles at the vaginal opening will hold it in place until you remove it by gently pulling on the string. If it feels hard to pull out, there are a few things to do: first, try to relax. You might be tense and "holding" your muscles. Second, you may want to leave the tampon in a little longer—it may not have absorbed enough menstrual fluid to become soft and pliable. Do tampons plug up the flow? Tampons absorb menstrual fluid in the vagina. Because of the shape of the vagina, they can’t totally "plug up" the flow even before they reach their full absorbency. Think of trying to "cork" a soda bottle with a wad of cotton—once the cotton gets soaked, the soda will come out. It’s the same with a tampon—once it gets soaked, the menstrual fluid may leak out. But keep in mind that menstrual fluid flows very slowly—just drips at a time. Do tampons make the vagina get bigger? There is no medical or anatomical reason to believe that using tampons makes the vagina larger. What if the withdrawal string breaks? This is really unlikely! But on the small chance that it does break, it’s usually pretty easy to reach the tampon with your fingers. Wash your hands and squat down or use the same position you used to comfortably insert the tampon to remove it. If you really can’t do it yourself, you should see your doctor THE SAME DAY. A tampon should never be left in more than 8 hours. Do tampons hurt? No. If you insert a tampon the right way, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. Tampons are inserted into the vagina through the same opening from which menstrual fluid leaves your body. For just about everybody, this opening is large enough to hold a Tampax tampon comfortably. Follow the instructions given in our package insert carefully—or check the insertion instructions on this web site. You’ll see that the use of Tampax tampons is really easy. Are some people allergic to tampons? Before P&G makes a product, the materials are thoroughly tested. But everyone is different, and a small number of people may be sensitive to materials that most people find OK. Can tampons cause VD (venereal diseases/sexually-transmitted diseases)? No. Venereal diseases are caused by several varieties of microorganisms. These organisms aren’t present in Tampax tampons. Since the organisms aren’t there, tampons can’t cause venereal diseases. (See the section on Sexually-Transmitted Diseases in Everything You Want To Know.) Can you get AIDS from the use of a tampon? No, you can’t get AIDS from wearing a tampon. AIDS is caused by a virus that does not survive very well outside of the body. It can’t be caught from toilet seats, swimming pools—or tampons. The AIDS virus isn’t spread through casual contact—but through intimate contact with body fluids. It is spread through sexual relations and direct blood-to-blood contact, such as by sharing hypodermic needles. Does the use of tampons cause ovarian cysts? There’s no evidence that the use of tampons has any relationship to the development of ovarian cysts. Do tampons keep clots in the uterus? Menstrual blood normally clots in the uterus and these clots usually dissolve before passing to the vagina. If a tampon is worn, the clots will either stick to or be absorbed by the tampon and removed when the tampon is taken out. Putting Them In. Taking Them Out Is a tampon easy to take out? Very easy! The cord on Tampax tampons is sewn up through the entire length of the tampon so it won’t come loose. Just pull the cord gently. Can you feel a tampon inside you? When the tampon has been inserted the right way, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort. If you can feel the tampon, it probably hasn’t been inserted far enough into the vagina. You should remove that tampon and insert another one. Is it normal to feel faint while putting in a tampon? No, it’s not common, but it could happen. Some girls have found that they will feel faint when inserting a tampon, especially for the first time. If this happens, stop trying to insert it and take a break. After a little while, you could try again. This time, be sure the tampon is well lubricated and make sure you are in a relaxed position. Some beginners have to try a few times before it’s successful. Do I have to take the tampon out every time I go to the bathroom? No. Urine comes through the urethra; "stool" when you defecate, comes through the anus. These are two separate openings. The tampon goes into the vagina—another opening between the urethra and anus. You might want to move the string out of the way when you go, though. If you’re going to urinate, pull the string to the back or side, and if you’re going to defecate, pull it to the front. (By the way, remember—to prevent infections always wipe from front to back when you go to the bathroom.) When to Change How often should I change my tampon? Never leave a tampon in for more than eight hours. If you find you have to change your tampon more frequently than every four hours, you may need to use a tampon with higher absorbency. On the other hand, if you change a tampon after wearing it for eight hours and find that it’s not saturated and white is showing, you should use a tampon with lower absorbency. Changing a tampon too frequently can affect the tampon’s ability to absorb—that’s because the tampon needs a little moisture to expand. Also, changing tampons a lot when your flow is light may cause irritation. How do you know when to change a tampon? In general a tampon should be changed every 4-8 hours—never wait longer than 8 hours to change it. But here are some guidelines to help you figure out when it’s time to change it: A tampon should be easy to remove. If it feels "stuck" or dry, it probably has not been left in long enough to collect moisture. On the other hand, if you go to the bathroom and the tampon string is wet with menstrual fluid, it is probably fully saturated and needs to be changed. The better you get to know your own flow, the easier it will be to know when to change it, and which absorbency is best for you. Why does the blood leak out of the tampon? This happens for a few reasons: The tampon may have reached its full capacity to absorb, it may not have been inserted the right way, or you may be using the wrong absorbency for your menstrual flow. Remember, the tampon is not a "plug." Some women experience leakage because of the shape of their vaginas. Pantiliners can be worn for extra protection with a tampon. How often should I change my tampon to avoid TSS? There is a small risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) associated with tampon use. To reduce the risk of menstrual TSS, use a tampon with the least amount of absorbency needed to control your menstrual flow. You can also reduce the risk of TSS by alternating your tampon use with feminine pads. Remember that a tampon should never be left in more than eight hours. Activities/Exercise and Tampon Use Can I go to the bathroom with a tampon in? Sure! Each female has three separate openings: urinary, vaginal, and anal. Therefore, a tampon that’s placed in the vagina won’t be affected when you use the bathroom. When you urinate, you might want to hold the cord to one side so it won’t get wet. If it does become damp, just dry it with a piece of toilet tissue. Why does a tampon become damp during urination? If the tampon itself (not the string) becomes saturated with urine, that probably means it hasn’t been put in far enough into the vagina. Take it out and insert a new one. Can you bathe/shower with a tampon in? Of course. The use of a tampon is are the only form of menstrual protection to use while bathing or showering. It’s really up to you if you want to wear a tampon when bathing or showering. You don’t have to—but many girls/women prefer it. Should I use tampons if I am involved in athletic and dance activities? For athletic activities, especially those requiring a tight-fitting outfit, such as ballet, gymnastics, or skiing, tampons are a good choice, since no one will notice that you are menstruating. In addition, tampons are the only suitable form of menstrual protection for swimmers.