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How to Know when You're Ready to Start Using a Tampon

Four Methods:

Deciding whether to use a tampon is a big decision and it's okay to feel a little overwhelmed. If you've just started menstruating, it's natural to have a lot of questions. Tampons are very safe when used correctly. You can begin using tampons as soon as you have your first period, but it's okay to be nervous about using a tampon for the first time. Learn a little about tampons to see if they're the right fit for you. Remember, there is no right choice when it comes to period protection. Make the choice that works for you.


Learning about Tampons

  1. Know you can use tampons as soon as you start menstruating.There is no age of girl that can't use tampons. As soon as you begin your period, you can start using tampons safely, if you are old enough to have your period, you are old enough to use tampons. There is no reason, physically, you need to wait to use a tampon. As long as you're comfortable, you can feel free to use tampons right away whatever your age. No one who gets their period is too young for tampons.
  2. Use a tampon even if you're a virgin.Many people think tampons are unsafe to use if you're a virgin because they believe it can break the hymen and make them lose their virginity. This is a common myth. The hymen actually doesn't break during sex or any other activities, although it may stretch and tear. Even if you're a virgin, you can use a tampon without any problems.
    • Some women are actually born without a hymen altogether. You can stretch or tear your hymen through non-sexual activities without even noticing!
  3. Do not worry about pain.If your hesitance about tampons is related to pain, understand tampons should not normally be painful. Tampons are inserted past the vaginal muscle, and once they are past the muscle you shouldn’t feel any pain. You can’t push the tampon in too far—the cervix will stop it and you won’t be able to insert it past the cervix. They can't get lost inside you.
    • It can help to start out using slim tampons.
    • If you do have pain or discomfort, the tampon may be not be pushed far enough in or could be inserted sideways.

Seeing if Tampons are Right for You

  1. Get more information about tampons.You can find information about tampons online from sites like Kids Health and the Planned Parenthood website, as well as online tutorials from sites like YouTube. You can also see if your school nurse or doctor's office provides any pamphlets or information regarding tampons or period protection in general.
    • Reading up on the basics of tampons and how they work can help you decide if they're right for you, and every box of tampons contains information about them and how to insert one.
    • You can also check out sites from popular tampon brands, like Kotex or Tampax.
    • It may also help to look at diagrams of the female reproductive system. This can help you figure out where to insert a tampon if you choose to use one.
  2. Try using a tampon when you get your period to see if you like it.If you're unsure if you'll be comfortable with tampons in the long run, try them out for a few days. Buy a small package of tampons or even ask a friend or family member to give you a few.
    • If you find you dislike the way they feel, or if your uncomfortable using tampons, you can always go back to pads or a menstrual cup.
    • Some companies, like Thinx, make “menstrual panties” that you can wear during your period with or without using a tampon or pad.
  3. Use tampons if you participate in high-intensity activities.Many women and girls prefer tampons because you can engage in more activities while wearing a tampon. If you're a swimmer, for example, you can wear a tampon in a pool, but you can't wear a pad. Activities that require a lot of movement, like dancing or playing sports, are also easier to do with a tampon.

Seeking Advice from Others

  1. Talk to your friends.If you have any friends who use tampons, you can ask them for advice. Your friends can answer questions you have on how to insert a tampon and how tampons feel. This can help you decide whether or not you're personally ready to use tampons.
    • Pick friends who are very supportive and non-judgmental. You don't want to talk to someone who would potentially give you a hard time about being unsure about tampons.
  2. Ask your parents for guidance.It might seem awkward to bring up the issue of menstruation with your parents. However, talking it out with your parents can be really helpful. Your mom especially will remember what it was like to begin her period and can help you work through your feelings.
    • It also helps to keep dialogue open with your parents regarding puberty. It's normal to have a lot of questions and your parents can help answer them.
  3. Seek out advice from older relatives.If you have older relatives, like an older cousin or aunt, they may be able to give you advice on tampons as well. This can be a great alternative if you want advice from someone a little older and more experienced. If your friends have not started their periods yet, it can also help to talk to seek advice from an adult.
    • If you don't have older female relatives, you can even talk to a friend's mother or a trusted female teacher or school nurse.

Using Tampons Safely

  1. Start with slender tampons.If you're using tampons for the first time, they may cause mild discomfort. While tampons are usually not painful, they do take getting used to. Start out with slender tampons until you're used to the way tampons feel.
    • It's a good idea to wear a pad in addition to a tampon at first, just to double up on protection.
  2. Wash your hands before inserting a tampon.Lather your hands with soap for about 20 seconds, making sure to wash under your fingernails and between your fingers. When you're done, rinse your hands thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel.
  3. Insert the tampon carefully.With one hand, pull back the labia (the skin around the vaginal opening). Place the tip of the tampon in the vaginal opening. Aiming the tampon backwards, gently push the tampon into your vagina. When you feel your fingers touch your body, the tampon is fully inserted.
    • If you're using an applicator, use your fingers to push the inner tube through the applicator and remove the applicator with your thumb and index finger.
  4. Change your tampon regularly.Remove your tampon by pulling on the string at the end of the tampon. To prevent complications like Toxic Shock Syndrome, tampons should be changed every 4 to 6 hours.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Can you go swimming with a tampon in?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, but if your flow is heavy, change it frequently.
  • Question
    I am 13 -- is it okay to be wearing tampons?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It's really up to what you feel like, so talk with your mom. If that is uncomfortable for you, try both pads and tampons. If you like one more than the other, then great! If you can't decide, then switch them around. If you are using a tampon, wear a pad at night to avoid toxic shock syndrome. Although this is rare, it can happen to the best of us girls.
  • Question
    Is it possible for my tampon to come out in class?
    Community Answer
    No, that's incredibly unlikely. If you insert it correctly, it will stay in place, particularly if you're sitting in class and not doing anything vigorous.
  • Question
    I started wearing tampons when I was 12. Is that normal?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    It is normal to use tampons at any age. It is up to you and whether or not you are ready to use them.
  • Question
    My mom has never used a tampon and does not want me to use them, but I want to try them. What should I do?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try explaining to your mom that many young girls use tampons now, and have found them to be more comfortable than pads. It's no big deal. Just something new.
  • Question
    How can I ask my parents about wearing a tampon just for swimming?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Talk to your mom -- she'll understand you better and ask her to talk to your dad if necessary. If you don't live with your mom, ask a close family member you feel most comfortable about.
  • Question
    How do you know a tampon is in the right hole?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Set it in the middle hole (your vaginal entrance); use a mirror if you are unsure. You will definitely feel the difference if you accidentally push the tampon into your anus; if this happens, just pull the tampon out and discard it (to be hygienic), then try again with a new one.
  • Question
    How do I tell my mom I know about tampons?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Just tell her. She is a female too. She has gone through the same cycle as you. It isn't bad to know about tampons, it's a good thing. Knowledge is power, and chances are you might need tampons one day instead of pads.
  • Question
    Can a 10-year-old wear pads?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If you have your period when your ten years old, then of course you can wear a pad!
  • Question
    I'm embarrassed to go to the shop and buy tampons. What should I do? My mom won't go for me.
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If you have a good friend who is very bold, ask them to go in the shop and buy them for you, or ask them to just come in the store with you for moral support. It's really not a big deal, no one will look at you funny or care at all that you are buying tampons.
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  • Check out a diagram of the female anatomy so you know where to insert the tampon.
  • Prior to using a tampon, you should be able to insert your little finger into your vagina. Your finger is more flexible than the tampon applicator. When you're not on your period, take time to get used to your anatomy.

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