Question: Do tampons hurt?

  • Health Expert health expert Answer
    Molly O’Shea is a health advocate here to help you with your period.
    Molly O'Shea
  • Mom mom Answer
    Stacey DuFord is a mom here to answer questions about period care.
    Stacey DuFord
  • Peer peer Answer
    Leah Sipher-Mann, one of our health advocates, offers peer support for your period.
    Leah Sipher-Mann
  • I remember the first time I used a tampon and it went in easily, but it really hurt on the way out. I have found that unless I am really flowing, taking the tampon out can rub a little funny and feel like the skin is pulling. Tampons don't hurt going in and this is especially true if you are choosing a tampon that is the right size for you and I have always found that the plastic applicators make the process of putting it in smooth and easy. Once the tampon is in you shouldn't feel it at all. If it feels funny or like it is falling out once you have put it in, you should pull it out and get a new one and start over. The whole process of putting a tampon in and out is made sooooo much easier if you can relax the muscles of your vagina. Here's how: squeeze your butt like you are trying to hold your poop in and you can feel the muscles of your vagina tighten and raise up too. Now relax them and try to keep them relaxed like that when you are putting in or taking out your tampon.
  • A tampon may hurt the first time you try to insert it, but it shouldn't be bad. You shouldn't feel it once it's in, so if there still is pain or discomfort, you may not have inserted it correctly. That's okay, like any new skill it may take practice to get it right. The key to pain-free tampon application is to relax, which - if it's your first time - is probably the hardest thing to do. Just keep practicing, you'll get it right! And there's no law that says you have to use a tampon. It took my daughter months of trying and she tried lots of different kinds before she finally got comfortable enough to use them every month.
  • If your tampon is inserted correctly, it shouldn't hurt at all. The only times my tampon feels uncomfortable is if it's not quite positioned correctly. Sometimes, I just have to take the tampon out and insert a new one. A good rule of thumb: If your tampon feels at all uncomfortable, take it out! Don't force it. It took me a few years until I was comfortable wearing tampons, and even then, I would still wear pads occasionally. If your tampon always hurts, don't hesitate to contact your healthcare professional. If you're having trouble inserting tampons correctly, check out our First Timers page for more info.

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