How to Use a Tampon

Using a tampon for the first time can be a little scary.  However, it doesn’t have to be. With a little knowledge about your anatomy and some practice, you can feel confident and comfortable using tampons. Below, we’ve outlined some key steps and some things to keep in mind when you’re using tampons.

  1. First, wash your hands with soap and water. It’s important that they’re clean before you insert the tampon.
  2. Get in a comfortable position. For some, this might mean sitting on the toilet with knees open, or putting one foot on the toilet.
  3. Try to relax. If you are relaxed, it can make inserting a tampon a little bit easier and more comfortable for you.
  4. Open the tampon and remove it from the package.
  5. Locate your vaginal opening, where the menstrual blood (your period) exits your body. It’s located below your urethra, where urine (pee) leaves your body.
  6. Hold the tampon applicator in the middle, where the small, inner tube enters the large, outer tube. The large tube should be facing towards your body, with the small tube facing away from your body.
  7. Gently insert the tampon at an angle into the vagina, aiming for your lower back, until the outer tube of the applicator is all the way inside and your fingers touch your body.
  8. Using your pointer or middle finger, press the small, outer tube so that the tampon is pushed into your vagina.
  9. The string at the end of the tampon should hang outside your body. To remove the tampon, tug on this string until the tampon comes out.
  10. For a video on how to insert a tampon, check out

A few things to remember:

  • There are many different kinds of tampons. If it’s your first time using a tampon and you’re a little nervous, you might want to choose a smaller tampon (light absorbency) that comes with an applicator.
  • The vagina is like a pocket—the tampon won’t get lost inside your body; it doesn’t have anywhere else to go.
  • Wearing a tampon shouldn’t hurt. If it’s uncomfortable, take it out and try inserting it again.
  • If you try to remove a tampon and it’s difficult or it hurts, it might be too dry. Wait a little bit and try again.
  • You shouldn’t leave a tampon in longer than 8 hours, or you might raise your risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Learn more about TSS here.
  • You can still go to the bathroom with a tampon in

Check out the body basics page for information on menstruation, anatomy, and more!