Normally you don’t feel a tampon that has been inserted correctly. Not even if you jump around a lot. Can you still feel the tampon or does inserting hurt? Then something’s wrong.
Inserting your tampon hurts
- Your vagina aka vulva is too dry: you probably need a tampon with a lower absorbency level. Make sure to choose the size that is right for your flow.
- You’re too tensed: the more you tense your muscles, the harder it gets. Relax and breathe.
- You’re pushing in the wrong direction. Gently push the tampon up at an angle, aiming for the small of your back.
Removing your tampon hurts
- Probably the tampon is still too dry as it hasn’t absorbed enough fluids. Leave it in for a bit longer (never longer than eight hours though) and then change it for one with a lower absorbency level.
- You’re too tensed. It’s the same with removing as with inserting: the more relaxed you are, the easier it becomes.
You feel it inside you
- You probably haven’t placed the tampon far enough into the vagina. Gently try to push it a bit further. If that doesn’t work remove the tampon and try again with a new one.
- Your vagina is itching or burning. Changing tampons too often, having too rough sex, washing with soap too often: all these things can cause vaginal irritation. If your vagina is irritated, using tampons can be uncomfortable for a while.
- Your vagina is too dry. For example because you’re in the perimenopause and your body makes less oestrogen. This causes vaginal dryness.
Your vagina hurts regardless of whether you use tampons or not
- Vaginal pain can have several causes. It could be the symptom of a vaginal infection (Candida), of vaginal cysts or polyps, of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) like herpes, or a skin condition like lichen sclerosus or psoriasis. A specific pain syndrome – provoked vestibulodynia (PVD) also known as vulvar vestibulitis syndrome (VVS) – can also cause complaints. Women with endometriosis often have problems with tampon and menstrual cups. Last, but not least, the pain can be the result of vaginismus. This means your your vaginal muscles tighten up on their own whenever penetration (tampon, finger, penis) is attempted. Even thinking about this can cause a physical reaction.
What can you do? For starters: don’t panic. Vaginal pain doesn’t automatically mean you have a serious disease. However, if you do experience long-term discomfort or notice servere problems regarding penetration, make sure to pay your GP a visit. Yes, also when you fear a pelvic exam. You aren’t the only one with this problem. There are treatment options. Your health comes first.
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