Most women would probably agree that the monthly menstrual cycle isn’t something to look forward to. Pains, aches, mood swings and lethargy certainly aren’t a whole lot of fun, but for a lot of women, there are other period woes to take into consideration. Although they may not like to talk about it (or don’t know where to go for advice), the reality is that whenever they try to insert a tampon, the tampon feels like it’s hitting a wall.
If you are struggling to insert tampons during your period, you’ll already know that you can’t force it. This results in pain, anxiety and frustration, followed by negative associations with tampon use and eventually, a ‘vicious cycle’. It may help to try and get to the bottom of why you can’t insert tampons, as well as learning about how you can overcome the problem. This article aims to help you with both, so read on for some useful tips:
Why does your tampon feel like it’s hitting a wall?
There can be several reasons why inserting a tampon is difficult. One of the most common reasons is vaginismus. Vaginismus is a condition in which your vaginal muscles will tighten involuntarily, causing spasms and pain. If you have any anxiety or a negative association with penetration, this tightening and spasming is an automatic response to your anxious thoughts and feelings.
If you try to physically push past this reaction, you are likely to experience even more pain, and the chances are, your tampon will still feel like it’s hitting a wall no matter how hard you push it. If you think you could have vaginismus, it will help to learn how to relax your vaginal muscles. This condition can lead to complications in intimate relationships; it can also severely affect your confidence, so it is really important to seek vaginismus treatment.
Another possible reason it’s difficult to put a tampon in could be vaginal stenosis. Stenosis means the abnormal narrowing of a bodily passage, so vaginal stenosis is basically the narrowing and/or shortening of your birth canal. This commonly happens due to chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments, and if you have it, you’ll know that inserting tampons can be tricky and painful.
What to do when your tampon feels like it’s hitting a wall
Frustrating as it may be, there are solutions. Whether you have vaginismus, vaginal stenosis or just some anxiety around tampon use, you could try the following strategies:
Try using small tampons with applicators
Even if you have a heavy flow, you’re better off trying to insert a small tampon to get you used to it. You may find it easier to buy applicator tampons, as they are much easier to insert. Try applying a little bit of water-based lubricant to the tip of the applicator to ease insertion.
Don’t be afraid to try alternatives
If you’re still finding that your tampon is hitting a wall, you may be better of using sanitary pads until you’ve received some proper treatment. Alternatively, you could try Mediterranean sea sponge tampons (menstrual sponges) which are much softer and may be easier to insert.
Practice using vaginal dilators
So many women have successfully used vaginal dilators to overcome vaginismus and vaginal stenosis. Even if you’re just a little nervous about penetration, dilators can help. They are very easy to insert (compared to dry, bulky tampons) and can get you used to the idea of penetration - in your own time and at your own pace. Why not try a Neodymium vaginal dilator starter kit to get you on the right track?
The bottom line is that you should never force the issue. If you constantly feel like your tampon is hitting a wall, there will be an underlying problem that you’ll need to seek treatment for. Remember that sexual health practitioners have seen it all before; they’re in that line of work because they want to help, and they know how to make you feel comfortable. We wish you the best of luck in your process… you can do it! Feel free to ask us any questions you may have and we’ll give you whatever insights we can.