Tampons and Tweens: Should She Use Them?

tampons, tweensOnce a girl gets her period, there is so much she has to get used to--and quickly. Her body is changing, as are her feelings and emotions. But along with learning how to navigate those waters, also comes the responsibility of learning how to use pads and pantyliners, and for some girls--tampons.


Some moms are dead set against the idea of their daughters using tampons, but the fact is they have been proven safe to use for all girls who menstruate. For girls who are athletes, in particular, using tampons often allows them to continue with their sport without much thought about having her period.

If you are thinking about introducing your daughter to tampons, here are some things you should know:

  • Tampons will not make her lose her virginity. The very slender tampons especially designed for young teens, if used according to directions, will usually not damage the hymen (the thin bit of tissue that partly covers the opening of the vagina.)

  • Give tampons a trial and error process. Tampons come in different sizes (slender, regular, super, etc.) and use different types of applicators (card board, plastic, no applicator). The first one you might want to try is a slender form or one that says it's specifically designed for teens. As for the applicator, a plastic one with a rounded tip may be the most comfortable. If the first tampon she uses doesn't work for her, try another kind.

  • Let her read the instructions carefully. Tampons come with an instruction booklet with diagrams. After she reads it herself, try to answer any questions she may have.

  • Remind her to relax. It's not painful to insert a tampon, but if she's tense it could make the process a little uncomfortable. Before inserting it, have her wash her hands.There are a few different positions she can use to insert the tampon. Two such positions are either placing one foot on top of the toilet or squatting over the toilet; let her figure out which technique is best for her. When it is in properly, she shouldn't feel it.

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome. There is a very slight risk of an infection called Toxic Shock Syndrome from tampon use. This bacterial infection can occur when women use highly absorbent tampons and leave them in too long, allowing bacteria to grow and invade the vaginal walls. Again TSS is extremely rare, but remind your daughter that tampons should be changed every four to six hours.

Does your daughter use tampons? Will you let her when the time comes?

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