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Can I Use a Tampon If I'm a Virgin?

I'm a virgin and I want to use a tampon but I heard that tampons are for girls/women who've had sex. Is that true or can I use a tampon?
– Isobel*

Any girl who has her period can use a tampon. Tampons work just as well for girls who are virgins as they do for girls who have had sex. And even though using a tampon can occasionally cause a girl's hymen to stretch or tear, it does not cause a girl to lose her virginity. (Only having sex can do that.)

Whether a girl decides to use a tampon or a pad is completely up to her. Lots of girls who are active — particularly girls who swim — want to use tampons so they don't miss out on their favorite sport.

It may take some practice putting in a tampon for the first time. Some girls find that using a slender-size, applicator-style tampon (especially one with a rounded top) makes it easier at first. Follow the step-by-step instructions in the box. It also helps to try a tampon for the first time on a day when your period flow is heaviest. That way the tampon should slip in easier.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: September 2010

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* Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

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