Frequently asked questions about tampons
Which are better – tampons or sanitary pads?
Neither tampons nor sanitary pads are ‘better’, so working out which is right for you is a matter of personal preference. Some women find tampons tricky to insert and remove, preferring the comfort of a pad. Others choose tampons because they find them more neat and discreet to use, as well as more convenient for activities like swimming.
How do you insert a tampon?
Wash your hands, then remove the twist-off wrapper from your tampon and unwind the string. Holding the tampon at the string end, breathe in then out to relax the muscles of your vagina, then gently insert the tampon into your vaginal opening, slanting it towards your lower back. Ease it into place as far as you can, with the string outside the vagina. If the tampon feels uncomfortable it’s not in properly, so try pushing it in further. Or start again with a fresh tampon.
How do I remove a tampon and can I flush it away?
To remove a tampon, pull on the string gently but firmly and it should come out easily. If it has been in for four hours or more and it hurts when you remove your tampon, you may need to use a smaller one to suit your flow. After removal, wrap the tampon in toilet paper and put it in the bin or sanitary disposal unit. Then always wash your hands.
Why does it hurt when I take my tampon out?
It shouldn’t hurt when you remove your tampon. If it’s been in for at least four hours and you feel discomfort on removal, it could be that your flow isn’t strong enough for this particular tampon. If you continue to experience pain whenever you remove a tampon, you will need to see your doctor to check for infection or vaginal abnormalities.
How long can I wear a tampon for?
Ideally you should change your tampon roughly every four hours. And if you find you need to do so more often to prevent leakage, you may need to wear a higher absorbency tampon. The maximum amount of time you can keep a tampon in is eight hours.
What’s the longest you can keep a tampon in?
The longest you can safely keep a tampon in is eight hours. So you can wear a tampon at night, as long as you take it out eight hours later.
When my period is really heavy do I use two tampons at once?
It’s never safe to wear two tampons at once as it increases your risk of toxic shock syndrome. If you forget you have one in and insert another, you’ll soon notice an unpleasant smell caused by a build-up of bacteria. Remove both tampons at once and consult your doctor if you think you have an infection.
Is it safe to keep my tampon in if I have sex when I’m on my period?
Never keep a tampon in during sex. Sexual activity could cause the tampon to get pushed further up your vagina, potentially causing discomfort and infection.
What happens if I need to pee when I have a tampon in?
It’s fine to pee while you have a tampon in as your pee comes from the urethra, which is positioned in front of the vagina. Move the string of your tampon to one side to prevent it getting wet.
Can I wear a tampon when I do sports?
You can do all the sports and activities you want while wearing a tampon, because it’s tucked away discreetly and will stay in place when you’re moving around. But as your V-zone can become very sweaty after sports, it can attrac bacteria and make you more prone to infection. So use a fresh tampon soon after you’ve finished.
Is it hygienic to wear tampons when swimming?
Tampons can be worn when you’re swimming. For reasons of hygiene and absorbency, make sure you pop a fresh tampon in just before swimming. And make sure the string is safely tucked inside your swimwear, so it doesn’t show. Always take your tampon out as soon as you can after you leave the water.
How do I choose the right tampon for my flow?
Libresse tampons come in different sizes: mini, normal and super. So finding the right one for you will depend on your flow. With mini for a very light flow and super being for a very heavy flow, you should always use the lowest absorbency tampon for your particular flow. If you have a heavy flow, you will need to choose a tampon with a higher absorbency. If your tampon feels a bit stuck when you pull on the string and comes out ‘dry’ after four hours, you probably need a lower absorbency.
When can I start using a tampon again after giving birth?
Wait until you have had your postnatal check, around six weeks after giving birth, before using tampons. And only do so if you get the okay from your health provider. Post-childbirth, you may find you need a larger tampon if you have given birth vaginally. This is because your vaginal canal will be looser, at least for a few months.
Why do some women use a tampon and a sanitary pad at the same time?
Some women wear a combination of tampon and sanitary pad or panty liner for extra protection. This is a good idea when you are first trying tampons and working out which absorbency is the right one for you. It also offers you extra protection if your periods are particularly heavy.