We understand how it feels to want to use tampons for the first time, but because of all of the scary stories you’ve heard you’re just terrified. – This a lot more common than you might think! The thought of putting something inside your body when you’re unsure about it is nerve-wracking. There are way too many myths and misconceptions out there about tampons, and 99% of the time there’s no truth to them. Today, we’re clearing up and explaining 7 of those myths.
1) Tampons are uncomfortable and painful
Once you’ve inserted a tampon properly you shouldn’t be able to feel it at all! If you’ve inserted it at the wrong angle, or if it isn’t inserted all the way inside the vagina then it could be uncomfortable and painful. To check if you’ve inserted it properly you can walk around for a few minutes and sit down to see if you feel any discomfort. If you don’t, you’re good to go! If you do feel uncomfortable, go back to the bathroom and try again with a new tampon. Remember, that you need to use the right tampon absorbency for your flow too. So, if you have a light flow, make sure to use a regular or light absorbency tampon and not one for a heavy flow. This will also make sure that you’re not experiencing any discomfort or pain.
2) You’re no longer a ‘virgin’ if you use a tampon
The term ‘virginity’ is a social construct. This means it’s just an idea that a large group of people believe and have accepted without questioning. Often you’ll hear people saying that someone ‘lost their virginity’, when they’ve had sex for the first time, but the truth is you’re not really losing anything. So, if you’ve never had sex and decide to use a tampon for the first time there’s no way it can ‘take away’ your virginity.
3) You can’t use a tampon if you’ve never had sex
Anyone can use a tampon, no matter your age or whether or not you’ve had sex.
4) You must take your tampon out if you’re going to pee or poo
Tampons are inserted into the vaginal canal where the menstrual blood comes out, which is separate from the hole where the urine comes out of (urethra) and it’s also separate from the hole where poo comes out of (anus). So, you can do both with a tampon still inserted.
5) It’s difficult to remove and insert a tampon
If you’ve never used a tampon before, inserting and removing it for the first few times will be a bit tricky. It could even take a few periods for you to get the hang of it. But, the great thing about tampons is that they help you get to know your body much better. Check out our step-by-step video on how to insert a tampon here.
6) It can get lost or stuck inside of you
There’s no way a tampon can get lost or stuck in your body. The vaginal canal where the tampon is inserted only has one opening, which is the opening that’s used to insert the tampon in. The other end of the canal is closed off by the cervix (the lower part of the uterus) which means that tampon literally has NO WHERE to go. It can only sit in the vaginal canal. If you are struggling to remove the tampon, or get hold of the string the best thing you can do is relax and breathe. By relaxing, you also relax your vaginal muscles which will help you get the tampon out. But, always remember when you’re inserting the tampon that the string must hang outside of the vaginal canal and shouldn’t be inserted all the way in like the tampon. This will make it much easier to remove the tampon each time.
7) Tampons are dangerous
Tampons aren’t dangerous at all. You just need to make sure like with all menstrual products when removing/ inserting or changing them, that you wash your hands thoroughly to avoid infection. Other than that, don’t keep your tampon inserted for more than to 4 – 6 hours to avoid Toxic Shock Syndrome. TSS affects only 1 in 100 000 people, so it’s really not such a big deal. But, it’s still better to be safe!