Menstruation – a natural phenomena, destined to bring the worst out of us! Something that takes away our blood (literally!), good moods, sound sleep, and of course light-colored dresses. We’ve already given you some amazing tips to get rid of the menstrual cramps but now we’re going to let you be aware of something you must have heard of before but are probably too hesitant to try your hand at it.
Tampon – in simple words, it is a plug of soft material, cylindrical in shape, inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood. While it is popular in a number of countries as a safe and hygienic medical device, the myths associated with it force some to hold themselves back from giving it a shot. Let’s dispel your fears and clear up the misunderstandings you have in your mind.
Is it safe?
Yes, it is! Tampons are sterile (free from any kind of infection) but washing your hands before using them will add to the safety. Don’t use the tampon if it falls upon the floor or gets exposed to dirt. Throw it right away.
Is it painful?
No, it’s not! Hymen, a thin membrane, partially covers the vagina and it breaks off while having sex or during any kind of rough physical activity. Even if your hymen has not been exposed to breakage yet, you can easily use a tampon as this device might just stretch it a little bit which obviously doesn’t cause pain. If you’ve had a painful experience while using a tampon, there are strong chances that you might have been using it all wrong. Moreover, tampons don’t make you lose your virginity at all!
Are you mature enough to use it?
You don’t need to cross any particular age bar to start using it. The fact that you’re menstruating makes you mature enough for its application. Just make sure that you’re comfortable with its usage.
What type of tampon should you buy?
If you’re using it for the first time, you should buy a tampon with an applicator, or a plastic tube that will help you push the tampon up into the vagina. Also, use the “slender” size if you’re a beginner. Check the absorbency – the amount of cotton used in the tampon. If your flow tends to be heavy, you should use a heavy absorbency tampon. You can also use a heavy one for the first 1-2 days and then switch to the light one for the rest of the days. A good beginning tampon is Tampax Pearl Lite.
How to insert it?
Choose a comfortable position:
Some women find the process easy while sitting on the toilet set and spreading their legs farther apart than normally while peeing. Alternatively, you can also stand with one foot placed on a higher surface. Just do it the way you find yourself most comfortable.
Locate your vagina:
It is a good idea to use a mirror to cut down on the hurdle a first-time tampon user runs into. There are three openings: the urethra where your urine (pee) comes out, the anus where faeces (poop) come out and the vaginal opening right in the middle where you’ve to insert the tampon. You can also take help from a trusted female relative or even consult a doctor if you can’t succeed in locating the opening after many attempts. There’s nothing to feel embarrassed about it. You’re not the only one who goes through such troubles. Your nervousness is totally justified.
Hold the tampon correctly:
Hold it between your thumb and you middle finger at the midpoint of the tampon, where the outer tube of the applicator meets the inner tube (the tube with the strings attached), and place your index finger on the end of the applicator where the strings comes out.
Push it inside:
Open the folds of skin around the vaginal opening and gently push the outer tube of the applicator into it up to the midpoint (where you’re holding the tampon with your thumb and your middle finger). Push the inner tube upward through the outer tube with your index finer and feel the tampon going a few inches up inside your body. Stop once the inner tube is all the way in.
Remove the applicator:
Use your thumb and middle finger to remove it. Make sure that the string hangs outside your vagina. Pull the string gently whenever you feel the need to remove the tampon. In case the string breaks, reach in and grab it with your fingers to pull it out.
Wash your hands:
Remember to wash your hands before and after you insert and remove a tampon.
Check for comfort:
If you find any kind of discomfort while walking around, sitting down or carrying out the daily life activities, you must have inserted it in a wrong manner. If it hurts, pull that one out, and try again with a fresh one.
How frequently should you change it?
Try not to let it stay inside for longer than six hours. Changing it out every 4-6 hours is good for hygienic purposes. You can sleep with a tampon in but make sure that you don’t sleep continuously for more than 6-8 hours. Use a sanitary pad instead if you don’t want to disturb your sleep and go through the rush to change the tampon. However, in the daytime, it can easily be used as it will not be difficult for you to change it at regular intervals.
Can you urinate while it is inside?
Yes. Tampons do not cause any trouble in your urination process as they are inserted into the vagina and not the urethra which is the opening for urine to come out. Just gently lift the string so it doesn’t come in the way.
Is there any disease risk?
TSS which stands for Toxic Shock Syndrome is a very rare but potentially dangerous infection which is caused due to a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. When a tampon stays inside your vagina for more than 8 hours it creates a perfect environment for different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus to grow. If you’ve left the tampon inside for too long and are suddenly experiencing a high fever, a sudden rash, or vomiting, pull it out and get medical help immediately.
1) Don’t use tampons when you’re not menstruating to avoid painful infections.
2) Always use fresh, sterile tampon just taken out from the box.
3) Make sure to change it every 4-6 hours.
4) In case of irritation, avoid using it and consult a doctor.
5) Always remove a tampon before having sex, as this can push the tampon out of easy reach.
Sumedha is a young, ambitious girl of 19 who has a flair for writing and believes that one needs to be a genius to contribute to literature. She is inspired by Shakespeare and loves to pen down what girls of her age adore reading.