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Tampons are one of the most widely-used sanitary products. Though there are now many other competitors in the menstrual products industry from cups to pads, tampons still remain the preferred choice. If you have just got your periods and are going to be using a tampon for the first time, it is natural to wonder how it affects the body.

The thought of inserting something inside your body can be intimidating, and also raise doubts about its hygiene and safety. To help you, here is what you can expect from your body when you use a tampon for the first time.

  1. The muscles coordinate – You must wonder if the tampon would fit inside the small opening of your vagina. Yes, it will. The muscles in the wall of the vagina expand and relax when needed. They will expand to allow the entry of the tampon and then relax again, gripping around the tampon to prevent it from falling out. Since the muscles are tight in the beginning, you may experience a small amount of discomfort. But focus on relaxing and breathing as you insert your tampon.
  2. You won’t Feel it – When you insert the tampon correctly, you won’t even know it’s there. Many women are afraid to insert the tampon completely inside the vagina, especially upon first use. However, it should be pushed inside so that it sits in the upper two-thirds of the vagina. If you don’t insert it deep enough it many cause some irritation.
  3. The vagina dries out – Tampons are generally made of rayon or cotton, which are both highly-absorbent. The tampon will thus absorb most of the fluid in the vagina from the period blood to the natural lubricating fluid if left in too long. This can cause the vagina to dry out completely, making it difficult to pull out or insert a new tampon. One way to fix this is using a small quantity of lubricating gel when inserting the tampon.
  4. The body pH balance and chemistry might change – Microorganisms like natural bacteria and yeast maintain the pH levels and keep the vaginal environment healthy. There is no requirement of any external product like soap, even during your period days. However, when a foreign object like the tampon intrudes the area, the natural balance can be thrown off. This can lead to dryness, itching, infection, irritation or even enhanced bacteria growth. So, if you feel uncomfortable when wearing a tampon, remove it immediately.
  5. Things become normal once you remove the tampon – The tampon should be changed in 4-6-hour intervals. If you wait any longer, you could encounter issues such as dryness or a bacterial infection. Once you remove the tampon, the natural forces start working again to restore the normal vaginal environment.

These are the five main behavioural changes in the vaginal environment when you use a tampon. Though it might seem scary, tampons are completely safe to use when hygiene is maintained. Using a tampon will enable you to carry on with your normal routine even during your periods.

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