POPSUGAR Australia has partnered with Libra to break the societal expectations, stigmas & taboos.
Getting your first
period is one of those milestone moments that almost every girl can remember. Where you were, what you were doing and all the confusing thoughts that immediately ran through your head. One of the biggest questions we likely all asked ourselves was, 'Am I normal?"
When it comes to periods, there's a lot of confusion and misconception. According to a study by Libra, 56% of women feel like they have to hide their period and a whopping 78% think there is a stigma attached to being on their period. The only way to combat these stats is by talking about our experiences — which is exactly what we asked 14 women to do.
Get ready to hear 14 very different, very honest stories about the first time someone used a tampon. Whether it's a horror story they've never forgotten or a total non-event, everyone has their own story to tell (and there's some really good ones). These are guaranteed to make you laugh, cringe and reminisce about your first tampon story. One things for certain — no matter your experience, you're definitely not alone.
"My first experience using a tampon was a nightmare. I had such bad anxiety and was really terrified to try and use one. I'd spend hours trying to get one in and it just wouldn't go up! There was some kind of blockage every time. This happened for a few years and a doctor actually diagnosed me with vaginismus. After a few years of trying I finally managed to get it in but I wasn't able to insert one for several years after without using lube - even the mini tampons. Only recently have I started being able to insert them without any trouble, because carrying lube everywhere isn't a long-term solution" -
"I wasn't allowed to use them until I was like 15 because my mum didn't want to instruct me how to use them. One day after trying to get out of swimming class too much, I bit the bullet and shoved it in ten minutes before class. It was so uncomfortable" -
"My mum made me use one the first time I got my period. I've never used a pad in my life. Best decision I ever made because I got it over and done with the first go" -
"I was 14 and on a family beach holiday so I was forced to use it. My period was extremely heavy and kept leaking out of pads. I tried inserting it in the bathroom but didn't put it in all the way and it started leaking in the ocean but luckily no one saw" -
The first time I tried to use a tampon I used an applicator. I obviously had it angled the wrong way because it felt so painful and I couldn't even sit down without feeling like it was hitting an internal wall. I tried really hard to pull it out but it felt stuck so I ran a bath thinking that would help. Eventually my mum had to come in and help me pull it out as I cried…. You could say it's a memory that's stayed with me -
1 / 4
"I have such a distinct memory of this! I think I was about 15 and about to go on holiday to Hamilton Island with my dad and two brothers. Like literally the day before I was set to leave on a week-long beach trip. Mum gave me a quick pep talk and I remember feeling pretty mortified that she would have to disclose the info to my dad before we left. She gave me the goods but what did I do... leave them on my bed! So I had to pick up some more from the little convenience store on the island. THEN! I was in the feminine hygiene section of the store and who walks around the corner... my old language substitute teacher?! By that point, I was just using pads, but believe it or not, the whole lead up was far more difficult than the actual insertion of the mini absorption bullet" -
"I started crying because I thought I was deformed and didn't actually have a hole where my vagina is because it wouldn't insert anywhere. It was like when Harry and Ron tried to run through Platform 9 3/4 and kept bouncing back because the barrier had closed" -
"It was an upcoming Year Nine school surf trip that made me bite the bullet and try tampons, and I easily went through two boxes before I got it right. It wasn't until I spoke to other girls about how they successfully inserted theirs, that I really understood just how far in it needed to go to stay there. One thing one friend said that always stuck with me: 'Even when you think it's all the way in, it's not'" -
2 / 4
"After I put my first tampon in I asked my mum if that's what sex felt like" -
"Mum stood outside the bathroom door instructing me how to insert it. I've screwed it up so many times after that. Tbh I've never loved them" -
"I was 14 and decided it was a good idea to try a tampon the second time I ever got my period. When it came to removing it, I pulled as hard as I could and was in agony but it wouldn't come out. I tried all the tips online as I silently freaked out because I didn't want to tell my mum. Eventually I had to tell her and then she tried to get it out and it was a damn nightmare. Anyway so after a few hours and my mum's fear of leaving it for much longer and me getting TSS, she drove me to the hospital where a male nurse numbed my nether regions and used whatever tools and lubricants he needed to move aside my hymen which was blocking the majority of my vagina. He then told me 'maybe don't try that again until you're sexually active,' It took me years until I was brave enough to try again and I haven't used a damn pad since. Hilarious yet absolutely traumatising" -
3 / 4
"I bought a magazine (I think
Girlfriend?) that came with a small packet of tampons when I was like 13, which was lucky because a week later I got my second ever period – the same day my mate was having a pool party. (This sounds like some cliche coming of age script but it's not.) I was like, screw it, I want to swim, so I spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom figuring it out. All I remember is reading the instructions like three times and it being painful. Then mum drove me over to the pool party, and she KNEW I had my period, so when I told her I was using a tampon she spent a very educational (but humiliating for 13 yo me) explaining how to put it in correctly. TBH, to this day it's still solid advice" - Sofia*
"The first time I used a tampon was at a pool party and just needed to get it over with. I've always hated pads and pushing forward with a tampon first thing just made the whole process seem way less daunting" -
"First tampon experience... oh boy, here we go. I have 5 brothers and was the first girl so safe to say there was MINIMAL education & zero dinner table talk around periods growing up. I got my first period on my 11th birthday and was FAR TOO mortified to tell anyone, including mum. I snuck into her room and found her box of super tampons. I had zero clue as to how they work so I spent about 30 minutes trying to jam a tampon into my urethra. After I realised I had the wrong hole (like seriously... what?), I spent my birthday walking around with a tampon half sticking out of me" -
Names have been changed
4 / 4