The Best Tampons You'll Find For Beginners

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For those who are new to tampons, jumping from pads to something that you actually insert into your vagina can feel like a big step. Especially when there are so many myths surrounding using tampons for the first time and virginity. But breaking news: using a tampon won't "break" your hymen or take away your virginity (via Tampax). Also, virginity is a social construct, according to Cosmopolitan.

Now that we have those myths debunked, it's time to talk tampons for beginners. When it comes to tampons, absorbency is what you want to know more than anything. If you're someone with a heavy flow, then you want tampons that are "super" or "super plus." If your flow tends to be fairly moderate throughout your period, then you want to stick to regular absorbency.

If you're unsure where your menstrual flow falls on the spectrum, you can deduce it by how often you need to change your pad. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a heavy flow is marked by having to change your pad or tampon after less than two hours. So, if this happens to be the case for you and your pad usage, then getting super absorbency tampons is the ideal fit to avoid leaks. Of course, depending on where you are in the duration of your period (day one vs. day four) can affect your absorbency needs, also. 

The best tampon for beginners

Absorbency is important when it comes to tampons in general. But when it comes to tampons for beginners, other factors also come into play, such as shape and grip, the latter being especially important. Until you get the hang of it and can just pop a tampon in without even thinking about it, you're going to want an applicator that makes insertion as easy and as comfortable as possible.

Considering these features as "must-haves" for beginners, fiber scientists and gynecologists found that Tampax Radiant Plastic Tampons are the best tampons for beginners (via Good Housekeeping). What makes these tampons so great for newbies is that they tested high on the comfort scale, have a plastic applicator that includes a grip for easy insertion, and include resealable wrappers for those who want to keep their tampon disposal on the down low and super discreet. They are available in regular, super, and super plus absorbency, so there's a size for whatever type of flow you have.

What you should know about TSS

A risk of tampon use that beginners should know about is toxic shock syndrome (TSS), which can occur due to complications from bacterial infections in the vagina. And it can be deadly if not treated (via Mayo Clinic). At one point in time, TSS was a real issue due to how tampons were manufactured and the lack of education about TSS. These days, however, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors the probability of whether a tampon can encourage bacterial growth before it's allowed to legally be on the market for sale.

Safety tips, too, have helped decrease cases of TSS. For example, you should change your tampon every four to eight hours and you should never leave your tampon in for longer than eight hours, according to Cleveland Clinic. If you sleep with a tampon in or forget about it and it's been eight hours or more, immediately remove it. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, symptoms of TSS include high fever, chills, headache, vomiting and diarrhea, body aches, and a rash. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor immediately. The good news is, TSS is rare, so if you do leave your tampon in too long, don't fret unless you have symptoms that lead you to believe something is wrong.

For many, tampons are the most preferred menstrual product (via Healthline). As a beginner, you may find you end up preferring them too. If not, pads will always be an option.