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Added September 25, 2014

Problems Inserting Tampons

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Are you having difficulty inserting a tampon for the first time? Have you had trouble putting a tampon in your vagina because it just doesn't seem to want to go in and/or it HURTS when you try? If you've had this experience, by now you're probably scared to try again because you feel stupid, are scared of the pain, or think you must be built funny down there and just can't use tampons. Join the club; there are legions of you out there and ALL of you CAN learn to use tampons comfortably. Use the guide below to learn about properly inserting a tampon.



Some girls have "extra" tissue that can interfere with inserting tampons. This is called a septate hymen; the "string" of tissue down the center is called a "strand." If you have a hymenal strand, it can make it difficult and painful to put in a tampon. But the strand is usually somewhat flexible and some girls manage to get a tampon past it on one side or the other. Then, there may be trouble getting it out. If this should happen to you, it may be best to see a medical professional rather than try to force the tampon out. Girls who have a strand and still force a tampon out tell us that they experienced a sharp pain and saw drops of bright red blood; they tore the strand.


This is not really terrible, but it can be frightening. In fact, it can be so frightening that, even though the strand is no longer a barrier, these girls often find they still have trouble inserting a tampon. How frustrating! What can the problem be now?


The problem now is, almost surely, that the girl's vaginal muscles are tensing up involuntarily and essentially closing off the opening to the vagina. The technical term for this is VAGINISMUS. When a girl is afraid that inserting something in her vagina will hurt, a signal goes to the muscles at the vaginal opening and makes those muscles contract. The girl doesn't know this is happening. She doesn't really feel anything. She only knows that she can't seem to get a tampon in.


Vaginismus is quite common in girls and young women. Having problems with a strand is not the only cause. Anything that makes a girl fearful about vaginal insertion can cause it. For example, having injured yourself anywhere "down there," having experienced painful medical procedures in the area, or simply believing that you are much too small for a tampon to fit inside can lead to vaginismus.


How can vaginismus be overcome? The bad news is that you can't usually talk yourself out of it. You might think you could will yourself to let those muscles relax, but they can be kind of stubborn. It's as if the muscles need convincing by experience. Some medical professionals know all about vaginismus and know how to help you but, sadly, too many aren't that well-informed. You will probably need to ask your mother or other adult for help in finding a doctor or other health-care practitioner who knows how to treat a girl who has trouble inserting tampons because of vaginismus. You will be given instructions in a step-wise approach that you will do at home. The treatment will teach your muscles to relax when you go to insert a tampon. Don't worry that the treatment will be painful. Quite the contrary; you will be told that you must NOT hurt yourself, since the idea is to teach you to feel assured there will be NO pain. The good news is that with a step-wise approach to treatment, vaginismus can be cured 99.9% of the time.


If you or your parents feel that you are not ready to try medical treatment, you can always use external menstrual protection until you are older. In the meantime, remember this rule of thumb; never allow any vaginal penetration or attempts at penetration that are painful. You want to end the association, in your mind, between penetration and pain and fear. Eventually you will become a pro at inserting tampons that you will wonder why it ever seemed difficult.

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After washing your hands, open the wrapper and remove the tampon. If using a Tampax Pearl Compak tampon, gently pull out the inner tube (toward the end of the removal string) until it comes to a stop.
Either sit on the toilet with your knees wide apart or stand with one leg on the toilet. Remember to RELAX—try taking a few deep breaths if you need to.
Use one hand to hold the tampon at the bottom of the outer tube. Place the rounded tip of the tampon to your vaginal opening and point the tip toward your lower back. The removal string should be facing away from your body.
Take a few breaths and gently twist the applicator back and forth into the vagina, directing it toward your lower back. As soon as your fingers touch your body, the applicator is in the right place.
While holding the outer tube of the applicator, push the smaller tube with your pointer finger all the way into the bigger tube until it stops. As you’re doing this, tampon slides out of the applicator and into your vagina. If it’s uncomfortable, the tampon is likely inserted incorrectly or not inserted all the way in—you should remove it and start over with a new one.
With the tampon comfortably inside you (and the removal string hanging outside your body), carefully remove the applicator, place it in the tampon’s wrapper, and throw it in the trash. Then wash your hands.
Don’t forget to remove the tampon before inserting a new one. When it is time to remove it, pull the string downwards at the same angle you used to insert the tampon. You can either flush the used tampon down the toilet or wrap it in tissue paper and put it in the trash.

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comments so far
Posted April 23, 2012
I have a septate hymen :( It was sooo embarrassing talking to my mom about it. She said the doctor might clip it but maybe not. I hope he does because taking out tamons is terrible! I have to take a mirror and do all this painful stuff. I really hope I can go to a gyno and get it clipped.
Posted March 08, 2012
iiippp897 maybe you need to get a lower absorbency or leave it in longer if youve left it in for almost 8hrs and are using tampax pearl light which ithink is the lowest absorbency of tampax you can try ubykotex click light which i heard holds less
Posted June 26, 2011
i can only get the tampon in like half way it seems like something is in the way and i am hoping i'm just doing it wrong because i do not want that strand thing and periods have totally been controlling my life i really hope i can learn how to get the tampon on and maybe it will help
Posted May 26, 2011
hey, i can easily get the applicator in, but once i star pushing the smaller tube into the bigger tube, there's some membrane or something that starts pushing it out. so then i end up with the base of the tampon sticking out of my vagina. its really annoying!!! any tips??
Runner girl
Runner girl
Posted February 08, 2012
I just got my period and have mostly been wearing pads. I true to put a tampon in an even after pushing it it would not go up, it just hurt. What am I supposed to do? I will try again next period, but I think I have A LOT of extra skin up there that won't let me push it through.
Posted June 23, 2011
I can easily get the tampon in, but when I'm trying to get it out it HURTS! I've only worn a tampon once because of this and when I got it out I thought I had pulled an organ out of my body because that's what it looked like! I'm going to try it again on my next period, but I'm scared.
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