How do I know when I am ready to use tampons?
Some girls never ever want to use a tampon – they don’t like the idea of having something inside of them. That’s fine! You can choose to use pads for the rest of your life. But don’t be surprised if your feelings change.
Other girls are eager to use tampons as soon as possible. Perhaps you are an athlete and, once you start getting your period, you need to use a tampon in order to participate. Swimmers and divers often have this scenario. Or perhaps you just don’t like the feeling of a pad in your underwear. No matter the reason, there are some guidelines as to when a girl is ready.
First and foremost, if you are too embarrassed to say the anatomical names of your private parts, to study a drawing of that area, or to look in a mirror and see where the tampon is going, then you aren’t ready! Using a tampon takes a certain level of maturity. it’s okay to giggle or get grossed out, but that’s also a sign that you should wait a while longer before trying.
Second, you need to be able to follow a schedule and not rely upon your mom to tell you when to change your tampon. Tampons must be changed every 4–6 hours. If you cannot remember to do that on your own, then you aren’t ready.
Finally, you need to be relaxed about it. If you are super stressed out and worried about inserting the tampon, you are likely to tense your vaginal muscles and that will lead to lots of difficulty getting it inside. If you are so worried that you cannot relax, then go back to pads and wait a bit before you try again.
Have a question for one of our experts? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.