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How Do I Prevent a Tampon Leak?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Tampons are menstrual products designed to absorb menstrual blood before it leaves the vagina. Inserting a tampon properly is one of the best ways to prevent a tampon leak. It is also important for a woman to choose the right tampon for her needs. For example, tampons designed for a light period may leak during a heavy period. Regularly changing tampons can also prevent them from leaking.

Proper tampon insertion is typically considered the key to preventing a leak. Before inserting a tampon, women should first wash their hands thoroughly to help keep bacteria from entering the vagina. Also, a tampon should never touch anything before it is inserted into the vagina. Tampons are available with or without applicators, and many women prefer ones with applicators because they are easier and less messy to insert.

When inserting a tampon correctly to prevent leaks, a woman should first sit or stand comfortably. Standing with one leg raised and the foot resting on the tub or toilet is a popular position for tampon insertion. Some women may, however, may be more comfortable sitting with their legs spread or squatting.

A tampon applicator consists of two cardboard or plastic tubes, with one slightly small tube nested inside a larger one. It should be held with the thumb and forefinger at the middle of the applicator where the two tubes meet. There are usually shallow groves on this part of the applicator. While inserting a tampon, the tip should be placed at the vaginal opening pointing toward the lower back. The string end should point away from the body.

The tampon can then be inserted into the vagina. A small amount of water-based lubricant can make this task a little easier. A woman can stop inserting the tampon when her fingers are just touching the outside of her vagina. The smaller tube can then be pushed into the larger tube. This will help push the tampon into the proper position deeper in the vagina.

After the tampon has been inserted, the applicator should be removed and discarded. The tampon string should be the only visible part of the tampon. When a tampon is inserted properly, a woman will usually not feel it. If it can be felt at all, it should be removed and a new tampon should be reinserted.

Tampons may be designed to absorb either small or large amounts of liquid. If a woman's flow is heavy, she should choose a tampon designed to absorb large amounts of liquid. Tampons designed to absorb only a small amount of liquid may cause the menstrual blood to go around the tampon, resulting in a tampon leak. A panty liner can also be worn during heavy flow days to help prevent a mess in the event of a tampon leak.

Tampons should also be changed regularly to help prevent a tampon leak. Most women are advised to change their tampons every four to eight hours. A woman will usually be able to tell when her tampon needs changed just by touching it. To change a tampon, the old one should first be removed by gently pulling on the string.

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Discussion Comments

By Scrbblchick — On Feb 03, 2014

@Pippinwhite: Yeah, wearing just a tampon is asking for trouble. Even if your flow isn't heavy, the string can still stain your underwear, which isn't as bad as a full-on leak-through-your-clothes, but it's still annoying that you have to take the peroxide or stain stick to get the stain out of your panties.

Wearing a backup pad or something regardless, just makes good sense. And you get a little extra peace of mind.

By Pippinwhite — On Feb 03, 2014

@Scrbblchick: I know it! I've had days where I couldn't seem to find a tampon absorbent enough. I'd never wear a tampon without at least a pantyliner backup, no matter how light my flow was.

By Scrbblchick — On Feb 02, 2014

And then there are some days when nothing can prevent a tampon leak. On those days, the leak can only be contained.

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