How To Use a Tampon
Buy tampons. As you've probably already seen in the grocery store, tampons come in a variety of types and sizes. Here's what's easiest for your first time:
Buy tampons with applicators. Tampons come in two basic types: with applicators, or a plastic tube that will help you push the tampon up into the vagina. Having the help of an applicator will make life easier when you're first learning, so choose a box that includes them. (In the U.S., o.b. is the primary brand that sells without applicators––most other brands have them.)
Pick the right absorbency. Absorbency is simply a measure of how much absorbent cotton is in the tampon, ranging from light to heavy. Most women use heavy absorbency tampons during the first day or two of their periods, when bleeding is heaviest, and transition to lighter ones toward the end. If you're concerned about pain, though, hedge your bets by buying light absorbency tampons. You'll have to change them more frequently, but they'll be slimmer and more comfortable.
Hold the tampon correctly. At the midpoint of the tampon, where the smaller tube of the applicator meets the larger tube, hold it between your thumb and middle finger. Place your index finger on the end of the applicator where the string comes out.
Slowly insert the top, thicker half of the applicator into the vagina. Aim toward the small of your back, and push it up a few inches until your fingers are touching your flesh. Don't worry about getting your hands dirty––menstrual blood is actually pretty clean, as far as bacteria goes, and you can always rinse off when you're done.
Press the thinner half of the applicator upward with your index finger. You should feel the tampon move a few more inches up inside of you. Stop when the thin portion of the applicator meets the thick portion.
Pull out the applicator. Gently tug the applicator out of your vagina. Don't worry––you won't pull the tampon out with it if you've followed the instructions and inserted it fully. Once it's out, wrap it in the tampon wrapper or a piece of toilet paper, and throw it in the trash.
Change out your tampon every 6 to 8 hours. You don't have to do this immediately as soon as 6 hours has passed, but try not to let it go for longer than 8.
To take it out all you do is tug the string at the end of the tampon. You might feel some slight friction from the cotton fibers as the tampon comes out, but it shouldn't be painful.