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Why is it Hurting Me So Much to Take Out My Tampon?

Published: November 29, 2016
Dear TeenHealthFX,
i started wearing tampons recently. putting them in is perfectly fine and doesn't hurt at all, and i'm certain they're in far enough. i used the lightest absorbency possible. after 2 hours it began leaking, because i have a really heavy flow. so i went to the bathroom and went to take it out. it hurt, it's like a sharp pain and suction. it's not unbearable, but it's not pleasant at all. after about 5 minutes i got it out and decided to put in another. it was full again after 2 hours so i took it out. it's very very obviously full, so it can't be because it's dry. i am a virgin, i don't know if this has to do with it. i put in 4 different tampons every two hours and every time it hurts. why is it doing this?
Signed: Why is it Hurting Me So Much to Take Out My Tampon?

Dear Why is it Hurting Me So Much to Take Out My Tampon?,

There are a couple of reasons that could be causing you to have an unpleasant experience with tampon removal.  The more common reasons are listed below, but if this problem persists it is important for you to talk with your primary care physician, gynecologist or adolescent medicine specialist so that your doctor can determine what the exact problem is and work with you on solutions that will address the pain. If the problem persists despite addressing the issues below, it is also important for your doctor to be involved because it could be something more serious such as vaginismus (a condition that causes involuntary contractions of the vaginal muscles on penetration). 

  1. Failure to relax
    Remember that the vagina is muscular so if you feel tense or anxious, the vaginal muscles will contract and the walls of the vagina will essentially clench together.  The overall result is that the vaginal canal becomes narrower, potentially making tampon removal a painful process.  If you find yourself struggling to get a tampon out due to pain, then take a few deep breaths and think of something peaceful and calming.  Make sure you are sitting or standing in a comfortable position.  If that doesn’t work, you may want to try and do something relaxing and try again when you feel more at ease. 

  2. Insufficient menstrual flow

    The tissue of the vagina is extremely delicate and tampons are commonly known to cause friction for some individuals.  The majority of tampons are made of rayon, or a blend of rayon and cotton.  In addition they come in a variety of sizes that measure the absorbency of the tampon. Without sufficient flow there's not enough lubrication between the tampon and the vaginal walls, so there is increased friction and irritation as a result.  If the tampon isn’t saturated enough by the time you need to remove it, try using a lubricant such as KY jelly to aide in the removal.

  3. Hymen
    If your hymen is still intact, sometimes the tampon can get caught behind the hymen as you try to remove it, especially if expanded radially (increase in diameter).  When the tampon gets caught behind the hymen, any pulling on the tampon can be painful or result in the hymen being torn which can also be painful.  Examine your own female genitalia and see if there something anatomical that is the root cause of pain and discomfort when removing a tampon.  You can also try changing the angle in which you are pulling out the tampon or push the hymen back out of the way during removal.

     

    If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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