In a society that seems obsessed with “tight” women....and a social media landscape that is obsessed with sharing kegel exercises...we need to make room for people who fall on the opposite end of the spectrum. For some people, penetration of any kind—whether it be intercourse or a tampon—is very painful. We often get question from those worried that they can't put a tampon in.
The first thing to understand is that YOU are not at fault for this discomfort. You are not broken, your vagina works perfectly, and there are solutions. One culprit for vaginal tightness (that is not spoken about enough) is Vaginismus. This is when the vagina suddenly contracts or tightens when you try and insert something into it. It can be painful, upsetting, and make you feel...broken. (Coming from this blog-writer who suffers from it!) But trust us, while it can not be “cured” it CAN be super effectively treated. There is nothing “wrong” with you. Your “normal” just looks different. Speak to your GP about potentially seeing a pelvic floor therapist.
Before seeking medical health (which we always encourage), perhaps try some of these tricks to improve comfort while inserting a tampon:
Look at a diagram:
We’re never too old to learn more about our vagina. Looking at a vaginal diagram can help to ensure you’re inserting the tampon at the correct angle.
Use a tampon with an applicator:
While yes, applicators are not (typically) the most eco-friendly option, some people truly need them to insert a tampon (including yours truly!). The rounded tip and smooth sides make an otherwise impossible task...possible! Plus, there are some eco-friendly options, including Yoppie and &Sisters.
Use a smaller tampon:
If you’re struggling to insert a tampon, make sure you’re trying the smallest size you can first. Fun fact, it’s always best to size down anyway! Many people will size up due to a heavy flow (which is okay to do on your heaviest day). Otherwise, it’s best to size down as wearing a tampon that’s too big can lead to issues with infection, vaginal dryness, and more.
Wear a pad instead:
For those who experience pain with tampons, a reusable pad could be an effective solution that absorbs the same amount of blood, but eliminates the need for insertion. Floco period pads are a comfortable, discreet, and eco-friendly solution.
At the end of the day, there is no “right” way to flow. You’re perfect exactly the way you are.