How do you use a tampon?

To put it simply – you put the absorbent (cottony) part into your vagina. Some tampons come with applicators, some don’t, there are all different sizes and scents – what are you really supposed to do? Let’s break it down by type:

Applicator Tampons

The tampon is going to be in a plastic or cardboard tube. When you push one end, the tampon will come out the other end. Some women find them easier to use because their hands stay outside their bodies – but that’s up to you!

Non Applicator Tampons

This is just the cotton part. You can find these in Europe a lot. Some women find these useful because the packaging is smaller and easier to carry around. But both types of tampons (applicators and non-applicators) work the same way!

Putting it in!

Let’s first talk about what’s down there. We’ve got three holes from front to back – urethra (where pee comes out), the vagina (where period blood comes out), and the anus (where poop comes out). Here’s a picture – the woman’s laying on her back.


The tampon is going to go into the middle hole – the vagina

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them. Sing “Happy birthday” to yourself to time it – it’s how long doctors wash their hands too.
  2. If you’re not super familiar with what’s going on down there, it doesn’t hurt to take a feel to figure stuff out. It’s okay if you need to put a finger into your vagina to understand where the tampon will go.
  3. Practice pushing the tampon while it’s still outside your body. This is just to get used to it – once it’s out, you won’t be able to use it again, but it’s worth practicing to learn how an applicator works. PICTURE
  4. You can stand or sit. Some women put their foot up on a tub or toilet, others sit down, some women squat. The first time you do it, you’ll want to be in a position where you’re comfortable, have lots of room, and have easy access to your vagina.
  5. Gently push the tip of the applicator into your vagina. The entire thing isn’t going up there, but it’s just to direct it
  6. Push the slender tube up, aiming for your back. Aiming for the front can be painful and the tampon won’t slide easily. There’s a lot more room going backwards. The tampon will slide out of the applicator
  7. Pull out the plastic part – what’s left should be a string hanging from the tampon. Find the string to get an idea of how it feels when it’s down there. That’s the string that you’ll use to take the tampon out after.
  8. Wash your hands again! Congratulations – you just put in your first tampon!

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