It’s normal to feel anxious or nervous about using a tampon for the first time.
Tampons come in sizes slender, regular and super. They have different applicators like cardboard or plastic. Some have no applicator at all. The applicator is the two-part tube encasing the tampon.
Using the smallest size tampon with a built-in applicator is recommended when first learning how to use tampons.
The best time to practice inserting a tampon is during the heavy part of your period as this allows it to glide in more easily.
It’s important to relax. When you are nervous, your muscles tense up, which can make inserting the tampon more difficult. It's not painful to insert a tampon, but if you're tense, the process can be uncomfortable.
Find your comfortable position. It could be sitting on the toilet or standing with one foot on the bathtub.
Hold the tampon with the fingers you write with, at the spot where the smaller, inner tube inserts into the larger, outer tube. Make sure the string is visible and pointing away from your body.
With your other hand, open your vagina and place the tip of the applicator at the opening of your vagina.
Gently push the tampon into the opening, aiming for the small of your back. Stop when your fingers touch your body and the applicator’s outer tube, is completely inside the vagina. Now use your index finger to push the inner tube through the outer tube. This pushes the tampon into the vagina. You’ll know it's fully inserted when the end of the inner tube meets the end of the outer part that you were originally holding.
Gently pull out the two tubes together. Make sure the string is hanging outside of your vaginal opening.
To remove the tampon, hold the string and gently pull it downward until the entire tampon comes out. Flush the used tampon down the toilet.
If the tampon is inserted correctly, you shouldn’t feel it. If you feel uncomfortable in any way, you may have not put it in the right way. If this happens, just remove the tampon and start over with a new one.
Lubricating the end of the tampon with a water-based lubricant – not petroleum jelly – can make insertion easier in the beginning. A mirror can help locate your vaginal opening.
Practice makes perfect. If you don't get it the first time, the second try will most likely be successful. If you’re unable to insert a tampon after several attempts, see your health care provider.
About.com Women’s Health