Once upon a time you were teaching her to ride a bike, and now she’s old enough to need tampons! It goes in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it? But - just like when she was learning to ride her bike - she still needs your guidance now, too.
Using a tampon for the first time can be daunting. But with you there to help her figure out how to use it, she will quickly feel comfortable and confident.
So here are the five steps you will need to cover…
1. Wash your hands and get comfortable
Explain that, especially when first learning to insert a tampon, she will want to get in a good position to make it easy and comfortable. Many girls find that standing with their knees slightly bent works well. Or she might want to pop a foot up on the bath tub or toilet seat. If she’s worried about tensing up, teach her to relax herself with a few deep breaths.
2. How to insert it
First, decide which kind of tampon is right for her. Tampax Compak Pearl is a great beginner’s tampon, as the smooth-touch applicator helps it glide into place, plus it has anti-slip grip for easy insertion. It also has an extendable applicator, so it comes in a small, super-discreet packet - perfect for a teenage girl who might feel embarrassed about carrying tampons in her bag.
If she’s more concerned about the potential embarrassment of leaking, particularly while she gets to know her flow, then Tampax Cardboard Applicator Tampons are a good choice, as they come with an anti-leak “protective skirt”, which adds an additional level of back-up protection, for extra reassurance.
Once decided, take one of her chosen tampons and show her how to unwrap it - and extend the applicator if it’s a Compak Pearl. Show her where the little grip marks are that you grip with your thumb and middle finger.
Explain that she needs to insert the top half of the applicator fully into her vagina at a slight upward angle, towards the small of her back.
Then show her how you push the applicator up with your index finger, which then pushes the tampon out and into the body. Make sure she knows to push it fully until the end of both applicator tubes are even.
3. How to remove the applicator
She should still have the ends of the tubes in her fingers, so she simply needs to slide it out gently, leaving the tampon in the correct position inside her body.
Let her know that, as long as she inserts a tampon the right way, she shouldn’t feel any discomfort. If she can feel it, it’s probably because she hasn’t inserted it far enough, so she should remove that tampon and insert another.
4. Disposing of used tampons and applicators
Explain that she shouldn’t flush applicators or wrappers - and really shouldn’t flush the tampon either. Instead, wrap them in a little toilet paper and pop them in the bin. Make sure you have a bin with a lid next to the toilet at home, and let her know public toilets come with a sanitary bin especially for this purpose.
5. How to remove a tampon
A tampon should be changed every four to eight hours, depending on her flow. But let her know she should never wait longer than eight hours to change it - so if she’s a late sleeper (what teen isn’t?!), then she should wear a pad at night.
When she is ready for a fresh tampon, remind her to wash her hands before gently pulling on the string and - voila! - her tampon should slide right out.
She can also use this as her chance to figure out if she’s using the right absorbency. If it’s a little dry and there’s white showing, she could move to a lower absorbency. Or if she’s leaked through to her underwear, she should choose a higher absorbency (and she can wear pantyliners while she’s figuring this out to save any embarrassment).
We hope this helps. For more guidance, and to shop the Tampax range, click here.