How to insert a tampon

Using a tampon for the first time can be a little daunting, but all it takes is a little know-how and some practice. The most important thing to remember when using a tampon for the first time is to relax!


  • Firstly, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Take a mirror and something to rest your foot on, ie: a chair, the edge or the toilet or bath.
  • Put your foot up on the ledge and use the mirror to take a look at your vagina, where you’ll insert the tampon.

Ready to apply the tampon

  • Ensure that you only insert a tampon when you have your period – your vagina will be too dry to go in smoothly otherwise.
  • Unwrap the tampon and place the wrapper in the bin.
  • To make it easier you can place a small amount of lubricant (such as KY Jelly) on the tip of the tampon.
  • Relax your pelvic floor muscles and breathe out.
  • Lean forward with your foot up on the ledge, hold the tampon at the cord end and slant it at a 45-degree angle. Gently place it in the opening of your vagina. Once ready, insert the tampon the full length of your finger, ensuring you leave the cord hanging out.
  • If you feel any discomfort, the tampon hasn’t been inserted properly so remove it, dispose of it and start again.


Many girls prefer to use tampons with applicators when they first start using tampons, as the applicator can make inserting the tampon easier and less stressful. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with applicator tampons as these differ slightly to non-applicator tampons in the way you insert them.

Removing the tampon

You should leave a tampon in for around 3-4 hours to ensure it’s absorbed enough blood and make it easier to remove. (You should never leave a tampon in for more than 8 hours as this increases the risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome)

  • Remember to relax your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Gently pull on the string and bear down and it should slip out.
  • There are many different types of tampons available, so make sure you choose one to fit your flow rate: you may need a super tampon at the start of your period, a regular in the middle, and a mini tampon at the end of the cycle.
  • It’s always best to use pads overnight to reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.


This article was written for Kidspot by Corinne Draper. Sources include: LibraGirl and Family Planning Queensland.

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