Tampons for first timers
Doing anything for the first time can often seem a bit daunting, and it’s a feeling that only intensifies when it relates to something intimate. So it’s really no surprise that the thought of using a tampon for the first time can seem quite scary for some. In fact, ‘first-time tampon fear’ is much more common that you might think, with 56 per cent of girls aged between 13-17, and 35 per cent of women aged between 18-24 being too scared to use tampons*.
But the thing is, using a tampon for the first time can be just like overcoming any other daunting thing in life: the fear most commonly comes from a lack of understanding, so if you talk about it and familiarise yourself with the facts you’ll instantly feel more comfortable – and more often that not, things won’t seem as intimidating as they once did.
So whether you’re a first-time tampon user, a mum with a daughter, or just a woman who likes to stay well informed, then read on…
What are tampons and how do they work?
A tampon is a sanitary product that is inserted into your vagina during your period. It acts like a sponge, absorbing menstrual blood and preventing it from flowing into your underwear. Tampons are available in many different variants, however if you’re a first-time user we recommend using a variant specifically designed for easy use. CAREFREE® PROCOMFORT™ Tampons feature a soft, all over SILK-EASE® cover that makes them really easy to insert and remove – and if your tampon has been inserted correctly you shouldn’t feel a thing!
How do I insert a tampon?
Inserting a tampon correctly does take practice, and it’s completely normal not to get it right the first few times you try. But follow the steps below and keep at it and you’ll get it eventually, we promise!
Step #1: Have your pack of CAREFREE® PROCOMFORT™ Tampons ready, making sure your hands are washed before and after using them.
Step #2: Unwrap the tampon, straighten out the string and get comfortable. Quick tip: sitting on the toilet or standing with one leg up on the toilet seat will often help to make insertion easier.
Step #3: Hold the tampon at the string end and use your other hand to hold open the folds of your vagina. Quick tip: Take a few deep breaths and try to stay relaxed as this will help to relax your vaginal muscles, making it easier for the tampon to glide in.
Step #4: Use your index finger to gently slide the tampon in as far as it’ll go, slanting it towards your lower back rather than directly upwards. You’ll know it’s in properly if you can’t feel it at all. Quick tip: If your tampon’s not feeling quite right, it’s probably not in the best position. Try rotating it or changing its direction slightly. If it’s still not feeling quite right, you can always take it out and start again with a new one.
How do I remove a tampon?
To remove a tampon all you need to do is simply pull on the string at the end of the tampon. If you feel like your tampon is a little difficult to remove, don’t panic – it’s probably just a bit dry (not full) so pull more firmly and it will come out! You can then switch to a lighter absorbency tampon so that it doesn’t happen again or leave it in for longer next time (max 8 hours)
What does different tampon absorbency mean?
Each woman is unique and therefore experiences different levels of blood flow (or ‘heaviness’) during her period. For this reason, tampons are available in different absorbencies, which simply means that they’re made with different amounts of absorbent material. According to GP Dr Farah Kroman, a heavy flow is classified as “soaking through a tampon every two hours, or having to change more than once a night.” Most women will notice that their flow is heaviest on the first few days of their period, and then becomes lighter towards the end. To ensure maximum comfort and zero leakage throughout your period we recommend having tampons of various absorbencies on hand. CAREFREE® PROCOMFORT™ Tampons are available in Super, Regular, or Mini, allowing you to tailor your tampon wear to your flow.
Quick note for mums with daughters:
Women – especially young girls – are often too embarrassed to ask questions about periods and vaginal health, and while we totally get those feelings of awkwardness, it shouldn’t have to be like that. Which is why beautyheaven and CAREFREE® want to do everything they can to help educate women of all ages about vaginal health and everything that comes along with it – and we want you mums on board, too! To help your daughter/s feel more comfortable with the topic, you need to be open about it, too. Arm yourself with the right information and encourage your daughter/s to talk to you, their friends, or a trusted GP about vaginal health. If you’re not sure how to broach the topic simply point them in the direction of becarefree.com.au or head there yourself to brush up on your own knowledge!
*Independent Carefree Vaginal Health Survey, n=660 girls 13-24yrs.
Were you a bit daunted by the first time you tried a tampon? What advice do you have for first-time tampon users?