Tips for using Tampons & Menstrual Cups

Written by Jen Bell

  |  Reviewed by Staci Tanouye, M.D.

Tip #1 • They won’t fall out or get lost inside your body.

Tampons and menstrual cups can’t get lost because the cervix (the opening at the top of the vagina) is too small for them to get through. When inserted properly, they also can’t fall out, because they’re held in place by the muscles around the entrance to the vagina. If your preteen or teen feels like their tampon or cup is falling out, that means they need to insert it a little further into the vagina.

Tip #2 • You can pee with them in.

With a menstrual cup, this is pretty straightforward. When wearing a tampon, just pull the string to the side so it doesn’t get wet.

Tip #3 • It might take some practice.

Sometimes we insert a tampon or cup and can’t seem to get it in the correct place, or it just doesn’t feel right. It may take your preteen or teen some practice to place it comfortably. If attempting to place a tampon is ever painful, there are a couple of simple techniques to try. Try to relax, and if the tampon or cup is dry, some KY Jelly or other lubricant can also make insertion easier. The same goes for removal. If attempting to insert a tampon is very painful or seems impossible, a gynecologist can help identify what may be causing this. This might be vaginismus, an involuntary tightening or spasm that happens when something is being inserted into the vagina, such as a tampon or menstrual cup. Or sometimes, there can be changes in the hymen that can make insertion of a tampon difficult.

Tip #4 • No string? No worries!

If your preteen or teen goes to remove their tampon but suddenly can’t find the string, there is no need to panic. It’s probably just tucked under one of the labia or just inside the vagina. They can wash their hands and feel around inside the vagina until they find it, then pull the tampon out as they would normally. They can also try squatting and pushing as if pooping. This will bring the tampon closer to the vaginal entrance, making it easier to find the string. The same trick works in case of difficulty removing a menstrual cup. If your preteen or teen is still having difficulties despite these tips, a quick appointment with a general practitioner or gynecologist can help.