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Tampon: how to use it correctly!

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 227 views

Exercising, swimming or going to the spa during your period: no problem with the tampon . Read here how to introduce the hygiene article, what you should pay attention to and what the so-called tampon disease is all about.

Tampon – What is it?

The word tampon comes from the French and refers to a pad made of cellulose, gauze or a similar material. It is used to soak up and dab liquids, dress or pack wounds, and stop bleeding.

Colloquially, this usually means a hygiene product made of pressed cellulose and cotton wool that menstruators use during their period to absorb the liquid.

To do this, the tampon is inserted a few centimeters into the vagina. Some models contain special insertion aids for this. Inside the body, it absorbs the shed lining of the uterus along with the blood. When the cellulose is soaked, pull it out with a removal string and dispose of it in the trash.

Since every woman has an individual anatomy and menstrual bleeding is different, tampons are available in different sizes and absorbency levels. These hygiene items are ideal for both light and heavy bleeding, as well as for women of all ages and physiques.

How to use a tampon

Many questions arise, especially for women who are using a tampon for the first time. We give you the most important information on use and disposal.

Insert the tampon correctly

It is important that you are relaxed when inserting the tampon, take your time and wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.

Remove the foil from around the tampon and dispose of it in the trash can. Use your thumb and middle finger to grasp the tampon securely. Make sure that the withdrawal string is hanging down at the lower end of the tampon.

Now insert the tampon into the vagina – i.e. into the opening between the urethra and the anus. Spread your legs about as wide as your shoulders. Some products are slightly rounded at the front for easier insertion. Slightly push the tampon backwards.

Make sure the tampon is inserted far enough. Use your index or middle finger to push it in with gentle pressure until it is comfortable and not pinching. The lower end should no longer be visible and should not be felt directly at the vaginal entrance. The retrieval string should hang out.

Then wash your hands.

Possible problems when inserting a tampon

Under certain circumstances, the tampon cannot be inserted and encounters resistance at the vaginal entrance. This often happens to young women who are using the menstrual product for the first time because they cramp.

Then take a few deep breaths and just try again. This is how the muscles relax. Some users also find it helpful to rest one leg on the toilet seat.

In very rare cases, the so-called vaginismus prevents problem-free insertion. The pelvic floor muscles reflexively contract. If you have any suspicions, contact your gynecologist.

Lifespan: how long should a tampon stay in?

Doctors recommend removing the tampon after a maximum of eight hours; a wearing time of five or six hours would be better. The longer a tampon has to soak up blood, the greater the risk of it leaking or causing an infection.

Therefore, if possible, you should not use tampons overnight. It is then better to use classic pads or a menstrual cup . You can even wear the latter for up to twelve hours.

You can find out more about this topic in the text on the menstrual cup .

take out the tampon

You must take the tampon out after six hours at the latest. To do this, pull on the return strap. If you feel resistance, the pulp has not yet been soaked. Taking it out can be a bit uncomfortable.

dispose of the tampon

Even if it seems obvious at first: tampons must not be disposed of in the toilet. The cotton from which

they persist, continue to soak in the water and expand. The result is clogged drains. They also pollute the water.

It is better to wrap the used tampon in a handkerchief, toilet paper or a sanitary bag and dispose of everything in the trash can.

Forgot a tampon: this is what you should do!

Basically, a tampon should not be in the female body for more than four to a maximum of eight hours. A tampon forgotten in the vagina can remain in it completely unnoticed or make itself felt through various symptoms. This includes, for example, a foul-smelling red-brown discharge, dry mucous membranes and, in the worst case, sudden fever, chills and nausea and circulatory problems.

As soon as you realize you forgot your tampon, remove it immediately. If the cotton thread has come loose, feel for the tampon with washed fingers. This works a little easier when sitting or crouching. You can also press lightly to push the tampon forward using your pelvic floor muscles.

If you are unable to do this or if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact a doctor as soon as possible.

What to do if the tampon hurts

Basically, the following applies: Using a tampon should not cause you any pain – neither when inserting nor when wearing or removing it.

If it still feels uncomfortable, there can be various reasons.

Wrong tampon size

The correct tampon size depends on how heavy your bleeding is. The heavier the period, the more absorbent the menstrual product should be. Always choose the smallest possible tampon size. Because: The cellulose not only absorbs the menstrual blood, but also vaginal secretions. This can dry out the vagina and make insertion, wearing and removal uncomfortable.

Tampon changed too often

Change the tampon as soon as it is saturated. You can tell by the fact that it moves even when you pull it lightly. If it doesn’t, it won’t slide as well. This can lead to discomfort or pain.


If insertion causes pain and you feel greater resistance, you should consult a doctor. A possible cause of this could be vaginismus. This involuntarily causes the vaginal and pelvic muscles to contract. Inserting a tampon can then be painful or impossible.

You can read more about this in the text on vaginismus .

Sex, sports, swimming: what is possible with a tampon?

Whether jogging , yoga or the gym: If the tampon is inserted correctly, sporting activities are not a problem. The alternative to pads catch the menstrual blood inside the vagina. This allows you to go swimming or to the sauna without hesitation.

If you want to have sex during your period, you should remove the tampon first.

Soft tampons: That’s what makes them so special!

Soft tampons are heart-shaped sponges made of foam. They are pushed deep into the vagina like a tampon and suck up the blood there immediately. The advantages: You do not feel the tampon due to its nature. In addition, it has no return string, so it is not visible from the outside. Sex is also possible with him. The same applies to the so-called menstrual sponge.

You can find out more about this in the article Menstrual sponge .

However, inexperienced users have to be careful: Due to the lack of a return strap, removal is a little more difficult. This works best if you squat down and push a little. You can then feel the soft tampon with your fingers and pull it out.

The same applies to the soft tampon: change it as soon as it is saturated, but after six hours at the latest. Otherwise there is a risk of toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic Shock Syndrome: This is what is behind tampon disease

Toxic shock syndrome is a bacterial infection that causes fever, body aches, vomiting, dizziness, and fainting.

It is triggered by a bacterium that is not dangerous in itself. However, if the bacterium has the opportunity to multiply rapidly, an infection can develop. If you notice these symptoms while wearing a tampon, you should contact a doctor immediately.

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