4 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. They also can’t fall out, because they’re held in place by the muscles around the entrance to the vagina. If you feel like your tampon or cup is falling out, that means you 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. If you’re wearing a tampon, just pull the string to the side so it doesn’t get wet.

Tip #3 • It might take some practice
Sometimes you insert your tampon or cup and you can’t seem to get it in the correct place, or it just doesn’t feel right. It may take some practice to place it comfortably. If attempting to place a tampon is ever painful, there are a couple of simple techniques that you can 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 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 you go to remove your tampon but suddenly can’t find the string, don’t panic. It’s probably just tucked under one of your labia or just inside your vagina. Wash your hands and feel around inside your vagina until you find it, then pull the tampon out as you normally would. If you’re having trouble, try squatting and pushing as if you’re pooping. This will bring the tampon closer to the vaginal entrance, making it easier to find the string. The same trick works if you’re having trouble removing your menstrual cup. If you are still having difficulties, don’t panic, make an appointment with your general practitioner, gynecologist, or local Planned Parenthood to help.