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Tampons are absorbent, tubelike menstrual products. They’re inserted into the vagina so they can absorb menstrual fluid before it reaches your underwear.


Some tampons are sold with plastic or cardboard applicator tubes. These tubes are designed to help you slide the tampon into your vagina. All tampons have a string on one end to pull it out.


As with pads, tampons come in different sizes and overall absorbencies.


You may fluctuate between sizes throughout the week:

  • Slim or junior tampons are typically smaller. They work best for lighter flows.
  • Regular tampons are considered average in size and absorbency.
  • Super or super-plus tampons are the largest in size. They work best for heavier flows.


When it’s time to insert, gently push the tampon inside your vaginal canal until only the string remains outside of the body.


If your tampon has an applicator, grasp the tube and gently pull it out. The tampon should remain inside your vagina.


When it’s time to remove the tampon, pull on the string until the tampon is free.


Tampons must be changed every eight hours at most. Leaving a tampon in for more than eight hours can increase your risk for irritation or infection as a result of the bacteria present.

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