Intimate Care

Why Does It Hurt To Put A Tampon In? Here’s The Answer!

Have you been experiencing pain when inserting a tampon down there but don’t know why? Here we are to reveal the reasons behind your discomfort.

Written by Priyanka Sonkushre

On Sep 22, 2023 – 9 minutes read

Why Does It Hurt To Put A Tampon In

Ouch! Did it hurt when you were trying to wear a tampon? Fret not, because you are not alone. Whether you’re using a tampon for the first time or are a seasoned user, you may experience pain and discomfort for several reasons. While there could be underlying issues causing this problem, usually there’s no reason to worry.

Little tweaks in the way you use a tampon can ease your discomfort and make you feel comfortable while it is placed inside your body. So, in case you have been wondering why does it hurt to put a tampon in, below is the answer to your question.

Why Does My Tampon Hurt? A Closer Look At The Reasons

There are not one but many reasons that can cause discomfort and get a woman thinking, “Why does it hurt to put in a tampon?” To help you understand better, we have segregated the reasons based on the common concerns of women. Let’s have a look at them one by one.

Why Does My Tampon Hurt

Why Does It Hurt To Put A Tampon In For The First Time?

1. You’re anxious!

The most common reason for “why does it hurt to put a tampon in” among first-time users is anxiety. You wouldn’t find any females around who did not have those jitters when they first tried wearing a tampon. Try talking to women who are now expert tampon users and listen to their stories. You will be amazed to know how common it is to feel anxious when you’re using tampons for the first time.

Anxiousness makes our muscles (including our pelvic floor muscles!) go tight. This tightness restricts easy insertion of the tampon into the vagina and creates friction between the tampon and vaginal walls, causing pain and discomfort.

2. You have vaginal dryness.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, low estrogen levels are often linked to vaginal dryness. So, if you have been on certain medications or you are a new mom nursing your little one, your estrogen levels could be on the lower side resulting in dryness inside your vagina. And a dry vagina can hurt if you’re trying to put in a tampon, even gently. Using a water-based lubricant at the tip of the tampon applicator may resolve this issue to some extent.

3. Why Does It Hurt To Put A Tampon InThe applicator is not right.

Most first-time users begin their journey with applicator-based tampons, as the applicator makes tampon insertion easier. These applicators are generally made out of plastic or cardboard and can have “petals” for improved and safe insertion.

However, as tampons are not devoid of manufacturing defects, the placement of petals may be imperfect, which could cause you discomfort as you push the tampon into your body.

4. You’re born with an imperforate hymen.

If you haven’t heard about imperforate hymen, allow us to give a brief intro. Girls are normally born with a hymen partially covering the vaginal opening. But those born with an imperforate hymen have their entire vaginal opening covered.

When left untreated, this blockage leads to pain during intercourse and also when you try to insert a tampon because the opening is way too small for the tampon to enter easily. Talking to your gynecologist would help if you think you might be having this problem.

5. You’re inserting the tampon at the wrong angle!

Correct Way to Put  the tampon in

Most first-time tampon users are hurt because they don’t know the correct way to put the tampon in. If you push the tampon straight up into your vagina, you are bound to hurt yourself. The key here is to aim the tampon toward your back because that way, the tampon, and your vagina will be parallel to each other, which will allow the tampon to glide in smoothly.

The next time you decide on using a tampon, make sure you squat or place one leg up on the toilet to create a more favorable position for tampon insertion.

6. You’re using a tampon with higher absorbency than you need.

It is always easier to wear a tampon on your heaviest days, as the menstrual fluid serves as lubrication and lets the tampon in without difficulty. But on days when you have reduced flow, using a high-absorbency tampon can dry out the vaginal walls quickly and hinder its placement deep inside, leading to pain and discomfort.

The best way to tackle this problem is to use the right size tampon. Use a standard-size tampon on the later days of your period and save the super absorbent ones for the first one or two days when you have heavy bleeding.

Why Does The Tampon Hurt When I Walk Or Sit?

Ideally, you shouldn’t feel any pain or pressure while wearing a tampon. No matter what position you’re in or which activity you’re engaged in, the presence of a tampon inside your body must not be felt. But if it hurts to sit or walk with a tampon in, it means you have not positioned the tampon deep into your vagina. 

If you’re not comfortable walking or sitting with your tampon in, make a quick trip to the washroom and pull out the tampon with the help of the string. Try reinserting it once again, making sure it is placed in the right spot. 

You could see a few videos on how to insert a tampon the right way to get a better idea. When placed right, you won’t feel the tampon one bit.

Why Do I Feel A Sharp Pain When I Try To Wear A Tampon?

Before you begin finding answers to why does it hurt to put a tampon in, you must identify what kind of pain you are experiencing. Are you just feeling some pressure, or is it a dull or sharp pain? 

If you have been using tampons for quite some time without a problem but are now feeling a sharp pain when placing a tampon in, it could make you wonder why does it hurt to put a tampon in all of a sudden. Well, a sharp pain could be a result of one of the underlying conditions mentioned below:

1. Vulvodynia

This is a condition when you experience a stinging sensation as you push the tampon in. When the underlying condition is vulvodynia, the pain is a result of pressure exerted on one part of the vulva. (1) Using cold packs wrapped in a cloth on the affected area and switching to regular pads is the way to go!

2. Vaginal cysts

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the vaginal lining. (2) You could have sharp pain while inserting a tampon if there is a cyst inside your vagina. Although some cysts do not cause a lot of discomfort, there are others that gradually grow and cause pain. 

In such cases, doctors drain or remove the cyst through surgery. You could resume wearing tampons once your vaginal lining heals and you get a go-ahead from your doctor.

3. Vaginismus

Women with vaginismus experience involuntary vaginal muscle contractions. These contractions aggravate when a foreign body, like a tampon, enters the vagina. This means you may have to deal with significant pain if you try to wear a tampon. Therefore, we suggest you use pads or period underwear until you treat this problem under your doctor’s guidance.

Why Do I Feel A Sharp Pain When I Try To Wear A Tampon

4. Why Does It Hurt To Put A Tampon In: Cervical Inflammation

Cervicitis, or cervical inflammation(3), could also be the reason behind the sharp pain you’re feeling upon tampon insertion. Watch out for signs of allergy, bacterial vaginosis, or any sexually transmitted disease, as these are the main triggers for an irritated and inflamed cervix. Only after you get yourself treated will you be able to wear tampons again.

5. Vaginitis

Similar to cervicitis, when you develop inflammation in your vagina, it is known as vaginitis. This condition is yet another cause of pain and discomfort when wearing a tampon. If you notice a change in the color of your vaginal discharge or have vaginal itching and pain while urinating, you may want to speak with your provider and get yourself tested for vaginitis. 

Prompt treatment can relieve your symptoms and make it possible for you to resume wearing tampons. Until then, consider pads and period panties as your best friends!

In Essence

Tampon use should never be associated with pain and discomfort. If you did and have been wondering why does it hurt to put in a tampon, now you know the answers. The best thing you can do when your tampon feels uncomfortable is to listen to your body. Don’t force your tampon in, and pull it out if it’s already there. Give yourself a break and try again later.

The key to tampon use is to stay calm and relaxed and insert the tampon deep into the vagina so it can’t be felt at all. If this doesn’t work and you still find using tampons uncomfortable, reach out to that phone because your doctor is just a call away!


Do Tampons Cause Cramps?

No! Experts say that tampons are not responsible for the cramps you have been experiencing during your period. To begin with, cramps arise in your uterus so that your body can expel menstrual blood out of your body. These cramps are triggered by prostaglandins, which are also responsible for associated pain. 
A tampon cannot trigger cramps because it never comes in contact with the uterus when put into the vagina. So, there’s no reason to think that your tampon is causing you those painful sensations. However, if the pain bothers you a lot, visit your doctor to find out what’s going on.

Will Tampons Hurt With Endometriosis?

Yes, there is a possibility. Here, you could question that if it is said that tampons do not cause any pain when worn correctly, then why does it hurt to put a tampon in endometriosis-affected women? 
The reason is that endometriosis may cause widespread inflammation and can also affect the area between the vagina and rectum. This can make tampon insertion and removal a painful endeavor. Plus, the fear of impending pain can make women with endometriosis tighten their vagina during insertion, which could make the problem even worse.

Is It Normal For It To Hurt When Putting A Tampon In?

It is not normal if it hurts when you wear a tampon. Tampon use shouldn’t be painful at all. If it hurts, there is something not quite right. 
A majority of women feel discomfort due to the improper use of tampons. Once they learn how to fix it, there isn’t a problem, and they are able to use tampons without any problem. But if you have tried everything in your hands and it still hurts whenever you try to put a tampon in, it could be due to an underlying condition for which you must take your doctor’s advice.

  1. Mayo Clinic. (1998-2023). Vulvodynia - Diagnosis and treatment. [Online] Available at:
  2. Penn Medicine. (2023). Vaginal Cyst. [Online] Available at:
  3. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. (2023). Cervicitis. [Online] Available at:

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Priyanka is a women’s health advisor with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the medical field. She has long been a trusted source of guidance for women seeking comprehensive healthcare solutions.

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