Home » How to Guides » How to insert a tampon

How to insert a tampon

Insert a tampon in 4 easy steps

tampon parts

By the end of this How-To guide, you will learn the parts of a tampon, where it goes inside your body, and how to insert a tampon with an applicator.

The parts of a tampon

Before inserting a tampon, it’s important to understand how a tampon works and where it goes inside your body.

A tampon has two parts: the tampon and the string. The applicator has three parts: the barrel, grip, plunger. Cardboard or plastic, every applicator will have the same parts. Can you identify these parts on your tampon?

To use the applicator, you hold on to the grip, insert the barrel inside your vaginal opening and push the plunger into the barrel to push out of the applicator. That’s basically how an applicator is used. Pretty simple right? Now let’s go through each step in detail so you can be a real pro at this!

Check the tampon before using it
  • Give the string a light tug to make sure it’s attached properly. I always do this just in case but I’ve never had a string break on me.
  • Also check the tip of the barrel to ensure it’s smooth and that there are no sharp plastic parts.
Step 1: Sit on the toilet and spread your knees apart.
how to hold tampon

With two fingers, hold onto the grip. I like to use my middle finger and thumb and then place my index finger on the plunger.

Step 2: Insert the tip of the applicator into your vaginal opening and then slide the entire barrel inside you. The grip that you’re holding stays outside.
how to insert tamponhow to insert tamponWhen you’re sitting down, your vagina is parallel to the floor, not perpendicular. So slide it in at an angle, aiming for your lower back. It will slide most smoothly this way. Do not push it straight up because it won’t go in smoothly.

If you got it in, then you have it in correctly. Good job!

Having trouble finding your vaginal opening?
It is okay. Put a mirror down there and look. Don’t be scared. It is your own body. You can even use your finger to find it. It is the only hole you can put your finger in and is bigger than your urethra. It is impossible to accidentally put your tampon in your urethra or pee hole. If you got it in even an inch, then it’s the right hole. There is no other hole so if you got it in a little, it’s the right one! Keep going!

If you need more help, check out our guide: How to find your vaginal opening

Step 3: Now that the barrel is inside you, hold the grip and push the plunger inside. This will push the tampon inside you and into its proper place.

how to insert tampon
I like to hold the grip using my middle finger and thumb so that I can use my index finger for this step.

Step 4: Hold onto the grip and pull the entire applicator out. The tampon is now inside you and only the string should hang outside of you.

When it’s in the right place, it will sit in the upper two thirds of the vagina where you won’t be able to feel it. This is because the upper two thirds of the vagina isn’t very sensitive to touch. You need to push the tampon up until it’s in this area.

Now you are finished! After a couple tampons, you will be a pro at this!

how to insert tampon

If you can still feel it, you can do two things:
  1. Use your finger, insert it inside your vaginal opening and feel for the bottom of the tampon. Use your finger and push it up further until you can’t feel it.
  2. Just take it out and start all over with a new tampon
Are you still having trouble inserting your tampon?

Don’t worry! Try these helpful tips!:

  • When you’re sliding in the barrel, twist the applicator at the same time. The twisting motion will help the barrel glide right in!
  • Wait until there is lots of period blood. The blood will help lubricate the applicator and make it easier to slide in.
  • If you’re nervous, your muscles may tense  up, making it harder for you to insert a tampon. Just keep on trying and eventually you will become more comfortable and relaxed.
  • It may take a couple tries to get it in the first time and that’s totally okay. Take a break and try again in a couple hours.
Tampon Tips
  • Make a mental note of the time. A tampon shouldn’t be worn for over 8 hours.
  • Choose a tampon with the lowest absorbency needed for your flow.
  • You can pee while wearing a tampon. Just lift the string up so it doesn’t get wet.
  • Wear a pantiliner to help catch any leaks.
  • A good indicator that you need to change your tampon is when you feel a bit wet down there or if you see your period leaking onto your panties or the string.
If you’re still having trouble inserting your tampon, leave a comment and tell me which step you’re having trouble with :)!

Remember, I can’t help you if you don’t say which part you’re having trouble with.

You may be interested in:

About Dedy Wong

Dedy lives in Vancouver, BC and is a 2014 graduate of the University of British Columbia with a B.A. in Psychology. She is the blogger, writer, photographer, and tester for all the reviews and articles on the blog. Her menstrual cycle is around 35 to 40 days long and she has tried just about everything from menstrual cups to reusable pads.


  1. I put in a tampon but when i sat down it hurted a little, it wasnt a lot of paint just a little but it made my vagina feel awkward. Why does it feel that way and why did it hurt

  2. almostgivinguphope

    Am I supposed to wipe before inserting the tampon or should I just leave it to make it easier to put the tampon in?

    • Hi,

      I find that the applicator slides in much easier when you don’t wipe. The blood acts as a lubricant so it slides in easier.


      • I cannot get the tampon in I think i found my vag because when i stick it in half way I see a couple little drops of blood of the applicator I have 3 different types of applicators I have the ubykotex sleek regular the tampax pearl sport lites and the playtex sport regular I cant get it in I even twisted it

  3. I can only get it in up to a certain point. then it just stops, as if it’s hit a wall. as if there’s no more hole…
    I’ve tried different times in different positions, lubricating, nothing seems to work. it goes in about half way and then stops. what should I do?!

    • Hi Lulu,

      How far can you get it up? Remember you only need to insert it until the grip.

      Try waiting until there is lots of blood and when you insert it twist it while you push it in at the same time. It should glide right into place! Let me know how that goes.


  4. Frustratedandoverit!

    I tried using a tampon three times and I always have the same problem. I can’t find the hole! I’ve used a mirror, i’ve tried standing with on leg up, i’ve tried sitting and still can’t find it! I find a spot where i push it up and about half of the tampon goes in then i feel resistance. Then I put it on an angle but its like after that theres no where to go! Help! Ugh!

  5. People keep saying if it didn’t work, juts try tilting it diagonal. I’m not sure if you should do it diagonal towards or chest or the floor. If anyone could answer me, it would mean a lot. Thanks.

  6. I like to use the cardboard applicator. My period just ended yesterday ^__^.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>