Tips for first time users

Dr Emma Parry Specialist obstetrician and Gynaecologist (MBBS,MD,FRANZCOG,CMFM)

How to use an applicator tampon

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water. With dry hands unwrap the tampon.
  2. Sit or stand in a comfortable position, some women prefer to stand with one leg on the toilet seat while others prefer to squat. Hold the applicator between your thumb and index finger at the point where the smaller inner tube inserts into the larger outer tube. Make sure the string is visible and pointing away from your body.
  3. With your other hand gently push the applicator into the vaginal opening, aiming for the small of your back. Stop when your fingers touch your body and the outer tube of the applicator is completely inside your vagina.
  4. Once the applicator or outer tube is inside your vagina, use your index finger to push the inner tube into the outer tube. This action pushes the tampon inside your vagina.
  5. Once the inner tube is completely inside the outer tube, gently remove the applicator.
  6. Make sure that the tampon string hangs outside your vaginal opening. When you are ready to remove the tampon hold the string and gently pull downward until the entire tampon is out.
  7. Remember to thoroughly wash your hands before and after you insert and remove a tampon.

When to change your tampon

  • Though your needs will depend on your individual flow, you should change your tampon 3–6 times a day (recommended every 4 hours). Never use a tampon overnight.
  • Use the lowest absorbency tampon needed to suit that day’s flow.

Removing the tampon

  1. Relax and gently pull the removal cord so that the tampon slides out.
  2. If for some reason you cannot find the removal cord, it can usually be reached from a squatting position using your fingers. Remember to remove the current tampon before inserting another and always remember to remove the last tampon at the end of your period.
  3. A tampon should be changed every 4 hours. If you need to change it more often than that, try a tampon with a higher absorbency rating. If changing your tampon is uncomfortable and the tampon still shows white after the recommended time, try a tampon with a lower absorbency rating.
  4. Select the absorbency rating that suits your menstrual flow and always choose the lowest absorbency to reduce your risk of developing TSS.
  5. Never use bigger tampons to extend the time a single tampon may be used. Wrap up the used tampon securely and dispose of it in a sanitary disposal bin.