| Tara Langdale

What Causes Pain When Inserting a Tampon?

This is pretty frustrating!

If you’re feeling pain when inserting a tampon, you’re probably feeling anxious about this. It’s a good thing to be concerned, because the truth is that inserting a tampon should not be painful; if it is, you will need to try and figure out the cause and find a solution. It is advisable not to panic – there will be a solution. Best-case scenario, it may just be a case of changing your method of insertion or practicing some easy protocols at home.

Worst-case scenario, you may need to seek medical assistance or see a specialist practitioner to treat an underlying problem. Rest assured that VuvaTech are here to help you get to the bottom of why you’re feeling pain when inserting tampons. We also have a few ideas about how you can overcome any underlying causes, so read on for some helpful tips and insights.

There are other potential causes of pain when inserting a tampon, such as allergic reaction. Since rayon tampons are treated with chemicals, this could be causing irritation or an allergic reaction, which is likely to result in pain and inflammation. If you have sensitive skin, it is worth checking that your tampons haven’t been bleached or chemically treated.

In some instances, a uterine prolapse could cause difficulty or pain when inserting tampons. This is more common than it may seem, since it results in a weakness of the pelvic floor. It may seem like there’s no longer enough space for your tampons, and there may be some degree of pain. A mild uterine prolapse may feel like a lump in the birth canal (other than the cervix!), but if it’s a severe one, you’ll already know there’s a problem. Always seek medical treatment for any unusual lumps and bumps, but in the case of mild uterine prolapse, pelvic floor exercises may help.

The bottom line is that you should not be experiencing pain when inserting a tampon, but if you are and it’s a problem you can’t solve easily alone, don’t be afraid to call your Doctor. We hope you found this article helpful! Drop us a line if you have any questions and we’ll always do our best to point you in the right direction. Email us at info@vuvatech.com 

Causes of pain when inserting a tampon

Inserting tampons at the wrong angle

We’ll start by saying that if pain when inserting a tampon was never a problem before, this is unlikely to be the cause. However it may help to consider that as the birth canal is curved, trying to insert a tampon by pushing it directly upwards is going to make it feel like the tampon is hitting a wall. Technically it is – it’s hitting the vaginal wall, and obviously this can hurt!

If you’re not used to inserting tampons, you should start by trying to guide your tampon gently into the birth canal. Do so by holding it at an angle, as if pushing it in the direction of the base of your spine. You could try using tampons with an applicator to help you angle correctly. If you are doing these things but continue to feel pain, there is probably another reason for the pain. 

Vaginal dryness

When the vagina is dry, it’s going to be more difficult to insert (or remove) a tampon. You may still be able to do it, but it could be painful. If your vagina is drier than usual, this could have various causes. Something as simple as insufficient menstrual flow is one possibility; as tampons are very dry, they can cause friction if the flow is minimal. If so, you may need to try smaller tampons or use a pad for lighter flow.

Another reason for vaginal dryness may be hormonal changes that happen after childbirth and during breast-feeding. Similarly, during the perimenopause (the run up to the menopause), estrogen levels may drop, resulting in more vaginal dryness than usual. Although you may still be having periods, a drier vagina may result in pain when inserting a tampon. This is especially likely if dropping estrogen levels have resulted in any degree of atrophic vaginitis (vaginal atrophy), since this can also result in thinning skin in the area, burning sensations and inflammation.

If you think dryness could be the problem, you could try using a personal lubricant to ease the process.


If you have vaginismus, pain when inserting a tampon is probably inevitable. You’ll also feel pain during any kind of penetration attempt, since your vaginal muscles will tighten involuntarily. Women with vaginismus often feel severe anxiety at the thought of penetration, and tampons are no different.

When vaginismus is the reason for difficulty in inserting tampons, you may need to seek vaginsimus treatment - the problem rarely goes away on its own, but it is curable. You may need the help of a pelvic floor physical therapist, or if your vaginismus is not severe, over time, practicing penetration at home using vaginal dilators may be enough.

 "Many customers call me and are having a hard time with tampons and cannot have intercourse. Vaginal Dilators along with pelvic floor physical therapy can be very beneficial. It is much better than taking pain medications that can alter how you feel and do not cure the problem at all." says Tara Langdale Schimidt, the Inventor of VuVa Dilators. 

Other possible reasons for pain when inserting a tampon

VuVa Dilators on Netflix!

Well what a surprise!!! A few years back we received an email from the props department on the Sex Education show on Netflix. They asked if we could send them a vaginal dilator set for their show. We couldn't say yes fast enough! 

Checkout Sex Education on Netflix: Season 2 Episode 8