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You are hereBlogs / sapphires's blog / Tampon How To's

Tampon How To's

WARNING: Content might be too graphic or descriptive. Once upon a time, I was scheduled to live in Boracay for a month. Being a girl, I knew that I would, at one point in that month, get a visit from the Red Fairy. I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of traipsing around with an ultra maximum sanitary pad in my bikini and so just in case, I bought a box of tampons. I can't remember where I bought them three years ago but I remember the brand was generic and it was called Best Buy. Luckily, I had a stepmom who grew up in the US and so I asked her for tips on how to use a tampon. And so the day finally came. At first I wore a pad but was extremely uncomfortable. It was scorching hot that summer! So I tried it out and let's just say, I never looked back.

You see, with tampons, you don't feel like you're sitting on a pillow the whole day. You feel cleaner and fresher and even smell better! You also don't get stains (if you're vigilant in changing your tampons regularly). In fact, I can wear a thong underneath my white miniskirt on my heaviest day! And if you, for some reason, accidentally spill the contents of your bag in front of a very cute guy, you don't have to suffer the embarrassment of him picking up your maxi pad because guys have no idea what a tampon (even though it's wrapped) looks like!

Here in Manila, we rarely see tampons in groceries or supermarkets. The brand that I usually see is OB in Shopwise, Libis. I was told that this is not the best kind of tampon and it's very hard to use as it doesn't have an 'applicator' and therefore, you need to use your fingers to insert the tampon. I suggest that you buy either Kotex or Tampax because these brands have 'applicators.' I know that S&R Pricemart carries them. Rustan's Express Lane in Forbes carries them (as a lot of expats, who use tampons, live in the area) too.

I, on the other hand, get my stock from the US. Whenever I have relatives going on a business trip or friends coming home from a vacation, I always ask them to bring home a box of 72 (pcs) of Tampax Pearl in Regular (or Super) Absorbency. Now I think it would be easier to let you know how to put a tampon on if we know the parts. Below is the illustration of a tampon with numbers pertaining to the different parts. In the drawing, 14 refers to the outer tube. The outer tube houses the tampon. 15 refers to the applicator. When you push the applicator, the applicator goes inside the outer tube and pushes the tampon out of the tube. Lastly, 12 refers to the string which is attached to the tampon. You pull the string to withdraw the tampon from your body. Now here comes the tricky part. Putting the tampon inside your body. Trust me, it's not even tricky! It's very easy. The very first step is to relax! The more you tense up, the harder it will be. Once you are ready, lift one leg up, placing your foot on the edge of the bath tub or on top of the toilet (toilet seat down, of course!) With your middle finger and thumb, hold the bottom of the outer tube. Your index finger should easily reach the end of the applicator. Position the tampon at 90 degrees (meaning, straight up) at the opening of your vagina and slowly insert the outer tube. You're probably squirming now but trust me, it's painless. In fact, virgins need not fear that they'll suddenly be hymenally challenged! (Oh, and contrary to popular belief of the misinformed, no, you do not lose your virginity when you use a tampon!). Then, with your index finger, push the applicator upwards. As stated before, this action will push the tampon into your body. With your middle finger and thumb still at the bottom of the outer tube, slowly and gently pull out the tube. You'll notice that a piece of string is dangling. Don't worry, that's meant to be so that it is easier for you to pull out the tampon later. Now here's an important tip. If you feel a little discomfort, that means you placed the tampon wrong. Don't be discouraged with the little discomfort. Just pull out the tampon and try again with another. If you got it right, you're all set.

First off, use a tampon with the lowest absorbency that matches the flow of your period. For instance, don't use a super absorbent tampon on your last day where your flow isn't strong. Next, I suggest though that you place a pantyliner in your underwear. Once there are drops of blood, it means you're ready to change into another tampon. Changing of tampons depend on the flow of your period. But never, ever leave a tampon inside you for more than 6 hours! Otherwise, you'd subject yourself to Toxic Shock Syndrome. (Click on the link to read more about Toxic Shock Syndrome). Also, always alternate with tampons and sanitary pads. Use tampons during the day and sanitary pads when you go to sleep. Anyone else here who uses tampons? Share your tips and experiences.

*Additional image from

Anonymous's picture

Okay so my cousin bought tampons so we can like try to use it. She tried it and it was okay then when it was my turn I had problem inserting it I don't know where to put it! Help me? Sorry for my stupidity. =))

Jillsabs's picture

Don't worry, it's not stupid at all :)
You may have been tense when trying to put in the tampon, so I suggest using a hand mirror to check out where to insert the tampon. Sometimes there are still bits and pieces of hymen on the vaginal opening, so you may need to really see where the opening is. That's what I did the first time I used a tampon. But I never did it again because I'm honestly fine with pads.

Hugo 's picture

This is the first time I comment on your site, but I've been reading your posts for a while now. I admire the passion with which you tell your stories and dream that someday I can do the same. Love

maj's picture

i tried tampons. i must say it's really comfortable...kaya lang, one time, something leaked when i sneezed. haha.

Anonymous's picture

i have a couple boxes of tampons but i never use ' afraid to try cuz i heard a lot of gossips about it..especially about the TSS thing dang kakatakot...

Anonymous's picture

OB isn't the worst brand because it has no applicator. Applicators are for women who are scared of their bodies. Also, there are much better things than those stupid TAMPONS.

Contrary to popular belief, you CAN feel the tampon. Plus the risk of TSS (no matter how small), and the fact that it dries you out and plays with the natural moisture of your vagina is not good. :P

When you look at the tampon, you have this assumption that it's clean and sterile. It's actually not. Pads and Tampons aren't sterile. There are loads of chemicals stuffed into the tampon to make it more absorbant. They also bleach it to make it white. Would you really want to stuff that up your vag? I wouldn't. :(

Another thing, the waste. Every month you spend $4 on disposables. $48 every year, and $445 every ten years. an average woman uses 15k pads/tampons in her lifetime. Most of them end up on landfills and or clog the toilets when flushed.

Now before you go around telling me that I should be more open minded and stuff, I'll tell you that there's an even better alternative to your alternative.

Menstrual Cups. Probably never heard of them before, right? A menstrual cup has all the benefits of a tampon without the disadvantages. It's worn internally, so not even a string can be seen. No string with bacteria from your rectum and your urethra.

They're reusable. They produce no trash, cost about $15 to $35 dollars, and they can last up to 10 years! :D You don't have to worry about restocking anything or having to bring your purse to the bathroom.

They're cleaner than tampons. You can boil them, you can rub alcohol all over them, heck, you can auto-clave them, if you want. :P

There's no risk of TSS, and you can wear them up to 12 hours! Ultimate convenience.

With cups, of course, you need to be comfortable with your body. Periods aren't gross. Your body is NOT gross. It's actually quite mesmerizing seeing your blood pooled in a menstrual cup, the red stuff in the bottom and a clear layer of liquid on top. (That would be the red blood cell and plasma seperating.)

If you're curious... just look them up. Just- if you're actually interested, don't go about buying the most popular brand or the first one you see, do your research people. :P Look up menstrual cups. Better for your body and your wallet. :P

(I personally use a miacup, myself)

Anonymous's picture

hi. i would like to ask if you have any idea if they sell menstrual cups here in the Philippines. Please let me know. Thanks in advance

Jillsabs's picture

No I don't, sorry. But you can try Multiply or ebay. They usually have everything there.

jimmy's picture

Every thing has its advantages and disadvantages. Tampons are very comfortable than pads and it offers more freedom. But one has to be cautious for tampons, if one forget to remove it on time, then it may lead to bad smell, bacteria forms, thus leading to infections. It may also cause TSS disease. One can use tampon but has should be alert. If anytime tampon is not getting removed or facing some problems, one immediately go to gynaecologist.

s2's picture

Hi, I use tampons myself and very recently started to sell tampons- Tampax pearl with plastic applicator in super and regular absorbency.You can reach me at 0916-4636810.

Cher's picture

hi!its my first time to use tampons today..I feel really comfortable!I've been trying to buy tampons everywhere but since i'm here in mindanao, I can't seem to find any..luckily, my sister just arrived from abroad and begged her to buy me tampons in duty-free..but,she only bought me 1 box of kotex (18pcs)costs about 250php...Its kinda uncomfortable when inserting it and takes some getting used to..I've never experienced a more comfortable feeling during a menstrual period!I know TSS is a fatal syndrome, but its also a rare and preventable condition. Just don't forget to change tampons at least 4x a day, good hygiene and awareness of your physical health...Up till now, tampons are still very hard to find..some said they're available at Rustan's in Manila..

zhiel's picture

ive been using ob tampons before i got pregnant and i love it. you can move freely and no stains pa.

with sanitary pads kasi, i get itchy... so i switched to tampons.

8 mos after giving birth, i was visited again by my monthly period.. but i cant fnd it anywhere na.. where can i find them.. any brand will do. thanks

AndreaNicole Remonde's picture

i had a chance to have some tampons, i used it too, just once, it was really comfortable but my friends freaked me out so i stopped using it.

now, i want to buy tampons again since pads are kind of uncomfortable and i get stains since they displace.

where can i find one and how much?


*will wait for your replies kind ladies. :)

mary lou's picture

i'm afraid to use tampons because I know I heard one time on the news that a girl died because the tampon got stuck and they couldn't get it out. I dunno... something like that...

jennifer cruz's picture

hi. where can you buy tampons? i mean maybe here in manila area? or anywhere near the area. i mean those who are pretty much sure they have this.


char's picture

hahaha. i totally agree with your last comment about breastfeeding jen. Ü i got mine a month before maddie turned 1. Ü now i'm waiting to see if i'll get it again this month. Ü

jencc's picture

I've been dying to try the cups! (Diva, Mooncup, etc.) I've tried tampons too (in fact, my sister passed on her Tampax Pearl Tampons to me when she got pregnant) but I only use them when I'm out of pads and have forgotten to buy some. I swear, breastfeeding is a great period-stopper! Got mine after a year! =)

Lisa's picture

Don't be afraid of tampons. The risk of TSS has dwindled signficantly over the last 20+ years as everyone has become more educated about the tampon product.

As long as you use the right absorbency and change the tampon regularly and alternate with pads (tampons during day, pads at night) you're good to go. I've been using tampons since I was in high school (about 14 or 15 years old) and have no issues with them.

For those who want an alternative look at the Instead Cups. These look like and are inserted like a diaphram. I tried this, but it didn't work for me. You need to be extra careful when removing the Instead cup so as not to spill the contents. Alas I am not that coordinated. haha Also, some natural products stores (at least here in the US) sell cotton only tampons and pads. But the tampons have no applicators. If you're ok with no applictor then this natural tampon may also be a choice for you.

ella's picture

I'm scared of tampons, I find it scary na nga I put a pad soaked in chemicals near my you know what every month, what more actually putting it inside my body.
But I am weird, so weird I'm considering making my own pads made from cotton...

Jillsabs's picture

char: i tried the last box you gave and i think it's still there somewhere in my bathroom :p

sige, i'll try the ob ones (

char's picture

it's pretty easy to insert and you can't feel a thing! Ü promise! Ü

Chel's picture

Tampon scares me - and I am a doctor. :P

Actually mas takot ako sa application kesa sa TSS. Hindi ba talaga masakit?

char's picture

i use tampons as well. i've always hated getting my period. i used to get depo provera shots which allowed me to skip the sanitary pads and tampon scene for 5½ years. Ü when i finally stopped depo, i had a visit from the red fairy once or twice before getting pregnant. last month was the first time i needed pads and tampons. i asked my husband to get me a box while he was out doing his banking rounds. he was only able to find at mercury drug. when he came home with the tiny box of o.b. tampons, i was surpised. Ü i've never used that brand before. i'm used to the applicator type. Ü but it worked just fine. Ü think i'll try tampax pearl if the red fairy visits this month. Ü thanks for the tip! Ü

jill: if you ever feel like trying tampons again, i think i left a few o.b. ones. Ü

jillsabs's picture

i tried before but had no success, i guess i was just tense. i'm not sure i'll try it any time soon though, i'm paranoid about that TSS :C

great article though :)

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