Using tampons for the first time can be scary for your teen daughter. However, she would soon become accustomed to it if you teach your daughter to use a tampon properly.
Tampons are cotton plugs that help absorb menstrual blood. Since they are inserted in the private area, it requires some practice. Your daughter also needs to be familiar with her body and stay in a comfortable position while placing the tampon. Proper guidance can help her feel relaxed and reassured.
Read on to know a step-by-step process on guiding your daughter on how to use a tampon (1).
How To Use A Tampon With A Built-In Applicator?
Before you teach your daughter exactly how to use a tampon during her menstruation, ask her to face the mirror to make the process easy for her. Seeing herself in the mirror will give her a better idea of her anatomy and she will be able to place the tampon better. Your daughter has to insert the tampon in the introitus, which may be a little uncomfortable and scary for her at first. Make sure you help her calm down first and then help her with it. Here is a step by step guide to help on how to teach a teenage girl to use a tampon:
According to a survey, 34.1 million women in the United States reported using tampons in 2020. It is imperative to teach your teenage daughter the health benefits of using tampons from an early age.
Tampon usage among US womenSource: U.S. population: Do you use tampons?; Statista/UNdata/NHCS
- Make sure your daughter is standing or sitting in a comfortable position. Your daughter may find it easy to use a tampon the first time if she places a leg on the edge of the tub or the toilet seat. Another position that your daughter may find comfortable is squatting down.
- Once your daughter is completely comfortable in the position, ask her to hold the tampon from the middle with her strong hand. Tell her to look for the place where the smaller inner tube enters, the larger outer tube. She should be able to spot the string and place it in a direction facing away from her body.
- Ask her to use her other hand to open gently the labia majora or folds around her introitus. Once she can do so, ask her to hold the tampon into it.
- Ask her to push the tampon gently through the opening. Using a tampon may be a little uncomfortable for your daughter initially, but tell her that getting stressed or panicking will aggravate her discomfort. While pushing the tampon in, ask your daughter to direct it towards her back.
- As your daughter inserts the tampon, the applicator or outer tube will completely go inside her body. Tell her to stop once this happens.
- Once the outer tube of the tampon is inside the introitus, ask your daughter to use her index finger and push the inner tube up. While doing so, the string should not go inside and should instead hang outside.
- Once your daughter completes the insertion of the tampon properly, ask her to use her thumb and her index finger to take out the outer tube.
- Whenever your daughter wants to remove the tampon, she can simply hold the string that is hanging out and pull it.
- Make sure that your daughter washes her hands using a disinfectant before and after she uses the tampon.
How To Use A Non-Applicator Tampon?
- Ask your daughter to tug at the string of the tampon to check its strength.
- Once she is in a comfortable position, ask her to hold the end of the tampon, with the string pointing away from her body.
- Ask her to use her other hand to open her introitus and place the tampon there.
- Let her gently push the tampon inside using her index finger.
- The string of the tampon should hang outside, and your daughter should pull it whenever she wants to remove the tampon.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a good age for a girl to start using tampons?
A girl may use a tampon as soon as she experiences her first period (the age varies significantly among girls). In addition, a girl may choose to use a pad or a tampon based on her comfort level and circumstances (2).
2. What is the smallest tampon size?
Tampons are available in various sizes and are categorized based on size and absorbency and period flow. Use a bigger tampon to prevent leakage during heavy flows. However, for lighter flows, you may choose a slim or a junior tampon for your daughter’s initial menstrual cycles (3).
3. Can my daughter still go swimming while using a tampon?
Yes, your daughter may go swimming while using a tampon. Tampons are recommended for wearing under a swimsuit while swimming during your periods. However, it is important to tuck the string into the underwear and change the tampon once she changes out of her swimsuit (4).
4. Can my daughter still use the restroom while wearing a tampon?
Yes, your daughter may still use the restroom while wearing a tampon, as the urethra and vagina are two different openings (5).
5. How do I teach my daughter to recognize and treat toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
You may teach your daughter to recognize the early signs of toxic shock syndrome, which include a sudden temperature rise that exceeds 102°F, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting spells or dizziness, and a sunburn-like rash. This way, she may be able to attend to these symptoms and seek immediate medical attention and treatment (6).
6. How can I empower my daughter to make decisions about menstrual products?
You may empower your daughter to make her own decisions about menstrual products by giving her adequate knowledge of each product available in the market, along with its specifications, benefits, and safety instructions for use.
7. How can I normalize and destigmatize the use of tampons for my daughter?
To normalize the use of tampons, you may give your daughter the appropriate knowledge she requires about menstruation and tampon usage, along with providing her with adequate resources to debunk any myths or wrong information she may have heard about tampon use.
Providing the right period-education and teaching your daughter about using a tampon or other feminine products should go step-wise. You should first talk to her about whether or not she is comfortable using it to check her concerns and offer her alternatives such as pads and menstrual cups. It is important that you tell her not to panic or stress during the process and try taking it slow. It is necessary to maintain basic hygiene by washing and disinfecting her hands properly with water and soap before inserting or removing a tampon to reduce the chances of infections.
Infographic: Tips For Teaching Your Teen To Use Tampons
Tampons are convenient and safe for managing menstrual flow. If your daughter is using it for the first time, you can prepare her by using this infographic. It includes the key factors to consider before using a tampon and tips to ensure she is comfortable using it correctly.
- First-time tampon usage can be scary and uncomfortable for teens, requiring parental guidance and practice.
- Familiarizing oneself with the tampon, understanding anatomy, and choosing a comfortable position can aid in secure tampon placement.
- Sanitizing beforehand, staying relaxed, and leaving the tampon thread outside during application can prevent discomfort and facilitate easy removal.
Refer to this video to learn about ways to properly dispose period products and share it with your daughter as well.
- How Do I Use Tampons Pads Period Underwear And Menstrual Cups?
- Can I Use a Tampon If I’m a Virgin?
- Your First Period
- Swimming and Your Period: Gross or Go For It? https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/womens-health/2016/june/swimming-and-your-period-5-myths-debunked
- Debunking Common Myths About Tampons. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/common-misconceptions-about-tampons/
- The Facts on Tampons—and How to Use Them Safely. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/facts-tampons-and-how-use-them-safely