What Do I Do if I’m Having Trouble Inserting a Tampon?

What Do I Do if I’m Having Trouble Inserting a Tampon?

Our expert: Dr. Sherry Ross

Sheryl A. Ross, M.D., “Dr. Sherry,” is an award-winning OBGYN, our go-to for pregnancy, postpartum, menopause and beyond. She’s practiced for 20+ years, recently won both a Top Ten OB/GYN & Patient’s Choice Award. She also has a line of custom vitamins made specially for women, Dr. Ross D3FY Vitamins.

I completely understand how to insert a tampon, but I simply just can’t. I think something is wrong with me. I’ve tried helpful tips like mirrors, different positions, and the tiniest plastic applicators I can find, but nothing works.


Inserting a tampon for the first time can be a traumatic experience.  It helps to be “vagina-friendly” and have one leg on the toilet seat for best results. Mirrors are useful too.  For you first timers, it can also be creative to put a little Vaseline on the tip of the tampon making it easier to enter the vagina, as well as putting some Vaseline on the pointer finger of your dominant hand (wash your hands before attempting this!) and insert it as far into the vagina as possible. Even if you are a virgin, placing a finger deep inside the vagina will not disrupt the hymnal ring.

There is a rare medical condition called “imperforate hymen” making the opening into the vagina narrowed or completely blocked.  If you had an imperforate hymen with complete blockage into the vagina, you would also not have any bleeding from a period since there would not be an exit. But in those cases of imperforate hymen with partial blockage, period blood will still come through the vaginal opening.

It definitely sounds like you are “vagina-friendly” and have tried on many occasions to give it your best shot. As a gynecologist, I have showed young women how to insert a tampon, so that can be your back up if you are still not successful. For all the other newcomers, if you have tried and failed multiple times, I suggest getting some pointers from your BFF or health care provider to help you find success.

Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.