There are a lot of misconceptions about using tampons, and this is why not all women are open to using them. Some misconceptions about tampons are that they cause yeast infections, that tampon use will get its fibers stuck in your vagina, that tampons contain asbestos, that tampons can cause endometriosis or cancer, and that tampons can get lost inside your body. But all these are untrue. Tampons are even beneficial to those who want to go on a swim during their menstruation period, and those who participate in athletic or dancing activities. If you're planning to start using tampons, here are some tips on how to use them correctly.
- Choose a tampon that suits your menstrual flow. Just like sanitary pads, there are tampons specifically made for light, regular, and heavy menstrual flows. Tampons also come in different sizes. There are also tampons that are odor absorbing. Choose one that you'll be comfortable in using. Do not get confused with products called Tampon Trodat and Printy. These are rubber stamp products and not the kind of tampons that you use during your menstrual cycle.
- Make sure your hands are clean when you unwrap a new tampon. Crouch down, knees apart or stand with one foot resting on an elevated place like the toilet. Try these two positions and see which one you're comfortable in. Hold the applicator or holder with your thumb and your middle finger. If it doesn't come with an applicator, hold the tampon itself with your thumb and middle finger. Make sure that you hold the tampon or applicator with the opening facing you, and with the string away from you. You can also check the leaflets that come in tampon packs for instructions, they usually come with photos or illustrations to show you how to properly insert the tampon. Most companies now commercially offer tampons with applicators, like Carefree, Kotex, and Tampax.
- With your other hand, spread the folds of your skin surrounding your vaginal opening. Position the tip of the applicator or the tampon itself at the opening of your vagina. Again, make sure that you have the tampon positioned with the string away from you. It sometimes helps to have a mirror handy to correctly position the applicator or the tampon in your vaginal opening.
- Gently slide or push the applicator in an upward and backwards direction into your vagina. You can stop pushing once the ridges of the applicator are almost touching your vaginal opening. Make sure that you still have a good grip on the applicator through. If your tampon doesn't come with an applicator, just gently slide or push the tampon itself in an upward and backwards direction into your vagina. You can stop pushing once you have felt the tip of the tampon against your cervix. It sometimes helps to twist the applicator or the tampon from side to side while gently sliding it into your vagina.
- Get a good grip on the ridges of the applicator, and then gently push the bottom of the tampon inside the applicator. Do this until the tampon slides out of the applicator, and the tampon is now positioned in your vagina.
- Once the tampon is positioned in your vagina, gently slide out the applicator, leaving the tampon inside. Make sure that the tampon's strings are hanging out of your vaginal opening.
- To remove a tampon, get a good grip on the tampon's string and gently give it a tug, pulling the tampon all the way out. Then wrap the used tampon in paper before throwing it out in the garbage.
TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare disease that has been associated with prolonged tampon use. This illness can be fatal, so when using tampons, always remember to change it every 4 to 8 hours, or more often, depending on your menstrual flow, or use it alternately with sanitary pads or napkins.