Tampon Use: Tampons Q&A

Answers to your questions about tampon use.
Tampons might seem a tad tricky at first, but once you get the hang of things, they're a very convenient alternative to feminine pads. Check out these common dilemmas and information on tampon use.

How do I insert a tampon?

Depending on your preference, you can either get tampons that are inserted using an applicator (tampons with applicator) or with your finger (non-applicator tampons). If you're new to tampons, it can take a few tries before you can easily and comfortably insert a tampon. Always wash your hands thoroughly before you proceed. Most women find it easier to insert when squatting or sitting on the toilet with knees apart, or standing with one foot on the toilet seat. Keeping your muscles relaxed, insert tampon into your vagina at a slight upward angle (approximately 45). Once it's properly inserted, a tampon shouldn't cause any discomfort. If you feel uncomfortable, then the tampon may not have been placed far enough inside.

How often should I change my tampon?

You should change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours. Changing a tampon too frequently can affect the tampon's ability to absorb, because the tampon needs a little moisture to expand. But you should never wear a tampon for more than 8 hours. Tampons can be worn overnight for up to 8 hours, so that means you should change a new tampon before you go to bed, and replace it once you wake up. If you sleep for more than 8 hours, use a feminine pad instead.

How do I know which tampon size to use?

Always choose the lowest absorbency tampon to meet your needs. With time, you'll become familiar with the tampon size that's right for your flow. Most women use regular and super on heavier days, and light on the lighter days. As a guide, if you find your tampon fully saturated before 4 hours, you probably need to use a tampon with a higher absorbency. On the other hand, if you remove the tampon after wearing it for 8 hours, and find that it's not saturated (with some white showing), step down a level.

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