Period alert! Ring the alarm!!!
This is how it felt when I had my first period. It’s shocking, overwhelming and even uncomfortable at some point.
With the variety of sanitary care products available in the market, usually, we, women, chose the tampon. They’re convenient and discreet.
But whoa! There are lots of different kinds and brands of tampons, so which are the best tampons for beginners?
- Top 14 Best Tampons for Beginners 2019
- Cora Organic Cotton Tampons with Compact Applicator
- Amazon Brand - Solimo Plastic Applicator Tampons
- Tampax Pearl Lites (Light)
- Playtex Gentle Glide 360° (Regular)
- U by Kotex Sleek Tampons (Super Absorbency/Super Plus)
- Tampax Radiant Super Plus
- Playtex Stella Tampons, Super Absorbency
- Tampax Pearl Active Plastic Tampons
- U by Kotex Fitness Click Compact Tampons (Regular)
- Playtex Sports Tampons with Flex-Fit Technology (Regular)
- L. Organic Cotton Tampons with BPA-Free Applicators
- Seventh Generation Organic Cotton Tampons
- Tampax Cardboard Applicator Tampons (Regular)
- o.b. Original Non-Applicator Tampons
- Tell Me More About Tampons
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What Are Tampons Made Of?
- Q: How Long Can One Tampon Be Used? Can You Sleep With A Tampon In?
- Q: I’m A Virgin, Can I Use Tampons? Can Tampons Break My Hymen?
- Q: Is Using Tampons Safe?
- Q: What Kind of Tampons are Best for Beginners?
- Q: What Size of Tampon Should a Beginner Use?
- Q: What is The Best Tampon to Use for Your First Time?
- Q: Are o.b. Tampons Good for Beginners?
- Q: I’m Sensitive to Bleach and Scents, Can I Still Use Tampons?
- Q: What is the best brand of cardboard-based applicator tampons for beginners?
- Q: Is it Normal to Feel Pain When Using a Tampon?
- Putting It All Together
Top 14 Best Tampons for Beginners 2019
After going through boxes and boxes of different brands and tampon types, I came up with a list of what I considered to be the best tampons for beginners and without further ado (drumroll please!) here are the top products that made my list:
Best Tampons for Sports and Beginners
Tell Me More About Tampons
What Tampon Size Should a Beginner Use?
Back to tampons!
Should I go for superabsorbent or light? Applicator or non-applicator? Plastic or cardboard applicator? Which is the best brand of tampons for beginners?
If you’re a little bit overwhelmed at the tampon choice department, I have two factors for you to keep in mind when looking for the best ones for newbies:
- Absorbency level
I bought my first tampon in a hurry, not looking at what type or size it is (big mistake). If the packaging is cute and colorful, I’m sold! So there I was, in my tiny bathroom, bleeding and figuring out how to put the tampon inside. TMI?
Turns out I bought a non-applicator type of tampon with maximum absorption! Too much pain and stress on my first day. From the bright side, trying to get the tampon in was a good gym class!
With this experience, I can attest that comfort should be your top priority when looking for the best brand of tampons for beginners. The easier it is to insert, the better.
The best tampons for first-time users should be:
- Easily inserted
- Comfortable once inserted
- Offers protection regardless of activity (sports)
I’d say that the best tampons for tweens are those with built-in applicators as they play an important role in ensuring a comfortable and seamless insertion.
Plastic applicators are a crowd favorite (mine too). Whereas cardboard applicators are a popular choice among the budding environmentalists (as it is biodegradable).
While both are smooth enough to be inserted, plastic applicators seem more durable. A dent or moisture in cardboard applicators can easily affect its quality (read: insertion will not be a breeze).
For some brands, tampon size depends on the absorbency level. When choosing the best tampons for first-time users, consider the pattern of your flow.
Take note of the absorbency level in each box of tampons.
If it has the words: Light, Lite and Regular – then these are best for light to moderate flow.
On the other hand, boxes that say: Super, Plus, Super Plus, Overnights – are great for heavy to anemia-inducing, super heavy flow.
Make it a habit to compare sizes, not all highly absorbent tampons are big. The best tampons for tweens are the ones that are sleek regardless of its absorbency level.
Inserting a Tampon (With & Without Applicator)
Before you insert a tampon there are two important things that you need to know.
First, you should be able to locate your vaginal hole and second, find out which type of tampon you have as the procedure slightly differs depending on whether your tampon comes with an applicator or if it’s the non-applicator type.
Where is my vaginal hole? I know we all tackled this in class (Science and Sex Ed, duh!) and while it seems easy to identify our lady parts in the books, it’s just so different in real life that you become clueless when it comes to your own body.
I remember a good friend from my 10th grade who shared how she nearly inserted a suppository (laxative) in her vaginal hole instead of her anus. We surely had a good laugh at her story and I was telling her how crazy she was for not being able to tell the two apart.
But come to think of it, it’s indeed confusing for teens (beginners to tampons) to know which is which when it comes to the southern region, so allow me to show you where the tampon should go in through this simple (and very amateur!) illustration that I created.
The clitoris is not a hole but a fleshy knob located at the topmost part of a woman’s genitalia.
Right underneath this fleshy button is the urethra, also known as the pee hole. The urethra is too small that people don’t mistakenly insert the tampon here (which is good, I can imagine that would hurt like hell!).
The next hole is the vagina, this is where period blood and other secretions come out thus, this is where the tampon should go.
The last hole is the anus, this is where bodily waste (feces) comes out. As the anus is quite as stretchy as the vaginal hole, beginners may get confused between the two.
To avoid inserting the tampon in the wrong place, familiarize yourself with your own body by carefully examining yourself in front of a mirror.
It’s your body, you shouldn’t be ashamed. That’s the longest relationship you’ll ever have in life, so, my suggestion is – become best friends.
How to Insert a Tampon: With Applicator
STEP 1: Always Start Off With Clean Hands
Make it a habit to wash your hands before and after handling a tampon just as you would when using the toilet.
STEP 2: Inspect Your Tampon
Unwrap the tampon with your clean hands (save the wrapper for step 5), if the wrapper seems tampered or if the applicator shows dents or any other flaws, throw it out and open a new one.
Give the string a light tug to make sure it’s firmly attached to the tampon (we want to be able to pull it out in one piece and not lose it inside).
STEP 3: Get Into a Comfortable Position
You can either choose to sit on the toilet with your knees apart or stand up with one foot stepping on the toilet seat.
Try to relax as much as you can in preparation for the next step which is the insertion.
The tenser you are the more your vaginal walls will constrict and make it harder for you to insert the tampon, so just relax and take a deep breath.
STEP 4: Slowly Insert The Tampon Using The Applicator
Hold the end part of the tampon applicator (near the plunger) with your thumb and middle finger.
Slowly insert the tampon applicator in the vaginal hole at a 45° angle until your fingers touch your body.
Using your pointer finger, push the plunger all the way through to release the tampon. The tampon should now be comfortably placed inside your body.
STEP 5: Gently Pull Out The Applicator
Leave the string dangling outside for easy removal afterward.
Discard the used plastic applicator by wrapping it in its original wrapper or tissue paper and throwing it in the trash can. Never flush this as it may clog pipes.
STEP 6: Wash Your Hands
And you’re done! Enjoy the day… well, the next 4 to 8 hours (max)!
How To Insert a Tampon: Non-Applicator
STEP 1: Always Start Off With Clean Hands
Cleanliness is key, especially when dealing with non-applicator tampons.
You’re touching the actual tampon that goes directly inside your body so better make sure those hands are clean and sanitized.
STEP 2: Inspect Your Tampon
Unwrap the tampon with your clean hands. Depending on the brand tampon wrappers can either be twisted in opposite directions or have a colored tear strip that needs to be pulled to open.
If the wrapper seems tampered (or it has already accidentally opened in your purse and rolled in your purse for who know how long) or if the tampon itself shows dents or any unusual discoloration, throw it out and open a new one.
STEP 3: Tug The String
Some brands (like ob Tampons) require that you tug the string left and right to slightly expand the bottom part of the tampon to create a protective pocket for your finger during insertion.
If the brand you’re using doesn’t require this step, it’s fine. Just gently pull the string to check if it’s strongly attached to the tampon.
STEP 4: Get Into a Comfortable Position
This doesn’t really change for the type of tampon you use. The same scenario – you can either choose to sit on the toilet with your knees apart or stand up with one foot stepping on the toilet seat.
However, relaxing is even more important for a tampon without an applicator, since there is no plastic that will slide in easily from the fluid. Without an applicator, the cotton won’t slide in as easily, since it will start doing its job (absorbing) right from the start you try putting it in.
Just relax and take deep breaths in and out, this will greatly help in relaxing the vaginal muscles.
STEP 5: Slowly Insert The Tampon
Hold the tampon using your thumb and middle finger while keeping your index right at the bottom of the tampon (where the string is).
Insert the tampon gently at a 45° angle, slowly pushing it with your index finger until the base of your index touches your body. Leave the string hanging on the outside.
STEP 6: Wash Your Hands
Done! And again… enjoy the next 4 to 8 (max) hours of your day!
Removing a Tampon
Removing the tampon is a no-brainer compared to putting it in. Always remember to change your tampons every 4 to 8 (max) hours or depending on your chosen absorbency level (always read the packaging).
Once you’re ready to change your tampon, simply follow these steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Relax and take a deep breath.
- Slowly pull the string downwards, without an angle (gently but firm enough to pull the soaked tampon out).
- Wrap the tampon before throwing it away in the trash can (spare others from seeing a murder scene!).
- Wash your hands as usual.
Congratulations, you’re now a tampon pro!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What Are Tampons Made Of?
A: Most tampons sold in the market are made from a combination of cotton and rayon. Organic tampons, on the other hand, are made with 100% cotton (some are even organic, non-GMO) that are unbleached and unscented, unlike ordinary tampons.
Applicators also come in two variants, there’s one made out of cardboard and another one made of plastic.
While plastic may seem to glide really well during tampon insertion, cardboard applicators are more environmentally friendly as they are considered biodegradable, unlike plastics which may take hundreds of years to break down.
Q: How Long Can One Tampon Be Used? Can You Sleep With A Tampon In?
A: Yes, you can sleep with a tampon in.
For safety measures, it is advised that you change your tampon every 4-8 hours to lessen your chances of getting irritation, infections and TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) which are all associated with prolonged tampon wearing.
Q: I’m A Virgin, Can I Use Tampons? Can Tampons Break My Hymen?
A: Any woman who is menstruating, regardless whether they are a virgin or not, are free to use tampons if they wish to do so.
Yes, your hymen may get tiny tears or eventually break from using a tampon or whatever you put in (like a menstrual cup), but that doesn’t mean you’re not a virgin anymore.
Your virginity solely depends on having sex with someone. You don’t lose your virginity just because you got your hymen torn by using a tampon or menstrual cup (FYI, vigorous activities can also do that!), so go ahead and live without fear, try a tampon if you want to!
Q: Is Using Tampons Safe?
A: Provided you followed the instructions and observed proper hygiene (washed and sanitized your hands, etc.), using tampons should be 100% safe.
On rare occurrences, Toxic Shock Syndrome (or TSS) happens to some tampon wearers due to a sudden overgrowth of the Staphylococcus bacteria that may have come from poor hygiene.
As a rule, always make sure that you wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling a tampon and make sure that you don’t go over the 8 hours maximum absorbency period.
Q: What Kind of Tampons are Best for Beginners?
A: Tampons that come in with a built-in applicator (whether plastic or cardboard) are the best for beginners.
Inserting a tampon has always been a daunting task for newbies, these applicators ensure a hassle and pain-free insertion which is one of the keys to having a comfortable tampon experience.
When you get the hang of it, then you can move on to ones with a cardboard applicator or just without an applicator.
Q: What Size of Tampon Should a Beginner Use?
A: It is best to start with the sleekest tampons. I highly recommend starting with Tampax Pearl Lites as it has the sleekest size that is perfect for tweens.
As your body gets accustomed to tampons, you can try the other brands with higher absorbency depending on your needs.
Q: What is The Best Tampon to Use for Your First Time?
A: For first time users, the more compact the better.
Tampax Pearl Lites is the perfect size for beginners. It’s not too thick so it’s a breeze to insert and very comfortable to wear!
I’d suggest starting off with this and as you get used to it, you can switch to organic brands, even those that don’t require applicators.
Just imagine the number of plastic applicators you’d use in your entire lifetime – make Mother Earth happy and switch to non-applicator tampons).
Q: Are o.b. Tampons Good for Beginners?
A: Yes! ob tampons are smartly made to be used without the need for an applicator because for them, the best applicator is right in your hands. Yep, that finger!
Compared to regular applicators that are normally created straight, your fingers can naturally bend and conform to the shape of your vaginal canal (which is by the way curved and not straight), making insertion easier and more comfortable especially for beginners.
Each ob non-applicator tampon you use is one less applicator in the landfill. If you’re an applicator type of gal, don’t worry, ob also has plant-based applicator tampons just for you!
Q: I’m Sensitive to Bleach and Scents, Can I Still Use Tampons?
A: Absolutely! There are brands that use 100% organic cotton and veers away from using chemical bleaches and strong scents.
You may want to try Seventh Generation Free and Clear tampons, reviewed above. They may be a bit more expensive but I’d recommend them any day!
Q: What is the best brand of cardboard-based applicator tampons for beginners?
A: I highly recommend Tampax Cardboard Applicator Tampons as the best tampons to buy for beginners, as reviewed above.
Q: Is it Normal to Feel Pain When Using a Tampon?
A: Pain during usage can be caused by different factors.
First, it could be that the tampon was not inserted correctly if so you can try to adjust its placement until it feels much more comfortable.
Second, you bought the wrong size.
For tampon newbies, it is suggested to get the smallest and sleekest tampons (see suggestions above) to get their body to adjust before trying bigger-sized tampons.
Third, 20% of women suffer from a retroverted uterus. This means that their uterus tilts backward instead of forward affecting how the tampon sits inside the body. If you have one, you’d need to adjust the angle of the tampon to make sure that it fits your body.
If it’s not any of the three reasons, consult your OBGYNE to check if there’s any tear/infection inside your vag and use an alternative sanitary method, such as pads.
And since we talked a bit about Mother Nature, why not try buying some of the best reusable pads?
Putting It All Together
Having your period for the first time can be both exciting and stressful. With all the different products and brands available, choosing the best tampon for young beginners can be quite a daunting task.
Beginners should take the time to read the labels closely and choose the brand and type that is comfortable to insert and use. Start with the slim/sleek ones first (even if they are for light to medium flow) just to get accustomed to the application and the feeling of having a tampon inside.
As you ease your way in, you may slowly introduce yourself to the Super/Plus varieties. From here, you can alternate the usage between light and super depending on your flow.
The products listed above are the best tampons for beginners to buy, you may try them one at a time and come up with a decision based on what works well for your body. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I’m here to help!
Till the next cycle, ciao!