Your Bod

The secret reason you may be having trouble with tampons (and what to do)

Tampons can seem pretty scary to begin with. But using a tampon with no success? Try *terrifying.* 

The reality is, tampons don't work at first for some women, and that's okay. One GL girl shares her story about her struggle and how she's overcoming it: 

Being young for my grade hasn't been easy. The most difficult part? Having to listen to all of the girls in my class talk about their periods, when mine was nonexistent. Finally, when I was 13, the day came. I got my period. I was so excited to be a part of the not-so-secret society of womanhood with my friends.

I quickly realized that using pads were a total drag. I felt like I was wearing a diaper and always worried staining my clothes. I hated not being able to wear my favorite pairs of jeans. 

Unlike me, my friends didn't have this issue. They used tampons instead. I had never used one before but decided to give it a shot. 

The directions on the box seemed simple enough. I took a tampon out of the plastic wrap and went to insert it and well, it didn’t work. I had heard many women had trouble inserting tampons on the first attempt, so I figured I'd get it after a few tries. 

I took another tampon out of its wrapper and tried again. And again. Same result.

Something just wasn’t right. It literally felt like something was blocking me from getting the tampon inside. I went into total panic mode. What was wrong with me? Why could I not get this stupid thing in?

This cycle went on for six months: trying and trying to use tampons, only to face the exact same problem over and over again. 

I knew I needed to talk to my mom about this, despite feeling *super* awkward about it. I finally told her what was going on, and she agreed to help me. However, after a few more tries, we decided it was time to make an appointment with the gynecologist. 

My first trip to the gyno was so nerve-racking and totally uncomfortable. What was I supposed to say to the doctor? Uh, hi, I'm here because I can't get a tampon in. Talk about embarrassing.

I had to keep myself from having a *total* freakout in the waiting room by reminding myself that this was just part of being a woman. Even though I was in the privacy of a doctor's office, I felt as if the whole world could see me.

The doctor examined me and let me know that I appeared to have something called a micro-perforated hymen. This meant that the opening of my hymen was present but too small for even a pinky finger to get through.

I didn't know how to react. Thoughts raced through my mind: Would I ever be able to be intimate with someone without it being impossible or painful? Would I never be able to insert tampons for the rest of my life? 

Reading the panic on my face, the gyno explained that I had several options. First, she could try to stretch out the size right there in the office. My answer was a resounding "no" before she could even finish her sentence. The other option she gave me was surgery. 

Turns out, the surgery (a hymenectomy) is actually pretty minor. After the appointment, my mom and I agreed we'd go home and think about it before scheduling anything. I may go the surgery route in the upcoming year or so. For now, I'm toughing it out with pads before I decide whether or not to go under the knife. 

Even though the past six months have been filled with a lot of awkward and frustrating moments, I’m really glad I talked to my mom and agreed to see a doctor. This experience taught me that it's always better to be safe than sorry, and I hope other girls dealing with similar situations will be able to get answers as I did. 

Are you also having trouble with tampons? Here are some tips:

Don’t psych yourself out reading stuff online

The Internet is filled with lots of great and useful information but sometimes it’s not accurate. It’s easy to get scared and misdiagnose yourself with something you actually don’t have.

Talk to your mom or a trusted female friend.

As awkward as it may seem to talk to your mom, she has likely gone through all the same or similar experiences you are going through. If you can’t talk to your mom, try a close female relative, or even a friend that you trust.

Pay your doc a visit.

The best opinion is always a medical one. Yes, going to the gyno can be totally awkward at first, but it was so worth it. Doctors are professionals and have seen thousands of patients over the years. Trust.

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.

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by Anonymous | 2/1/2016