As a girl reaches her puberty, her first period is a matter of great concern for her and her mother. As she starts menstruating and is settled into handling things, she becomes comfortable with the hygiene products required during menstruation. Some women prefer sanitary pads for those days, while others make use of tampons. Getting comfortable with the latter may take some time, as the process of changing and handling a tampon is a bit tricky. However, as one becomes used to using a tampon, there is nothing more convenient! For this purpose, it is wise to learn everything about this useful female hygiene product, which has been used since ancient times and continues to be preferred by women around the globe. Your questions like How to use a tampon? How often should you change your tampon? How to stay hygienic while using a tampon? etc are answered in this article.

What Is A Tampon?

Tampon is a name derived from a French word “tampion”, which literally means a plug or piece of cloth used for stopping a hole. A tampon is used for absorbing the menstrual flow in a woman, just like a sanitary pad. The only difference is that while a sanitary pad is used externally, a tampon is inserted in the vaginal opening brands and does the same job here. It is a cylindrical shaped roll of absorbent cotton pressed together, and has the ability to absorb the blood, which flows out during the menstrual cycle of a woman. Tampons are available at pharmacies as well as stores and come in various sizes and different degrees of absorbencies, depending upon the requirements of women. Generally, the first time users of tampons are recommended to use the slender size, as it is easy to insert, even in case of heavy flow. The slender size of the tampon actually facilitates its smooth insertion into the vagina.

How To Use A Tampon?

Before you use a tampon for the first time, the process of inserting it may seem complicated and it is perfectly normal if you get nervous about it. Knowing about your anatomy can help you locate the right place to insert it, which is the vagina. The insertion process of a tampon also depends upon the type you are going to use. There are two basic types- with a built-in applicator and a non applicator tampon.

Built-In Applicator Tampon

  • Always ensure that your hands are washed before you start inserting a tampon. Unwrap it with dry hands. If you happen to drop it on the floor, replace it with a clean one. Tug the string of the tampon to make sure that it is secure. The best position to insert it is in the squatting position. You can also stand with one leg on the tub or the toilet seat.
  • Hold the tampon from the middle, with your index finger and the one next to it, at the point where the inner tube is inserted into the outer one. The string should be visible and away from your body.
  • Open the labia (skin surrounding the vagina) with your free hand and place the tampon at the opening. Push the tampon inside until you feel the fingers touch the body. Make sure that the applicator is inside the vaginal opening.
  • Push the inner tube through the applicator or outer tube. The tampon will automatically reach inside your vagina.
  • Remove the applicator from your vaginal opening with your thumb and middle finger. The string of the tampon will now hang outside your vagina and it needs to be pulled out gently for removing the tampon.

Non-Applicator Tampon

The first two steps are same in case of non-applicator tampons, as mentioned in the former type. After this, open the labia and place the tampon in the vaginal opening. Push it inside your vagina till your fingers seem to touch your back. This is much simpler than the built in applicator tampon. The most important thing is to ensure that the string of the tampon hangs outside your body, as it needs to be pulled to remove the tampon. It is essential to take care of hygiene whenever you handle tampons, before and after inserting and removing them. You will come to know that you have inserted the tampon correctly if you are comfortable with it. If not, it implies that there is some problem with it and it needs to be removed. After removing it, you must start again with a new one. You may find inserting a tampon a bit difficult to begin with, but gradually, with practice, you will be completely confident about the job.

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