We've all heard tampon horror stories, whether its getting toxic shock syndrome, forgetting a tampon for days, or even leaving a tampon in during sex. Thankfully, your chances of having health complications because of tampons are pretty slim, and they remain a popular menstrual hygiene option — a 2015 study found that 70 percent of women use tampons. Still, I avoided tampons until I was out of college because I was terrified of doing something wrong. My fears weren't entirely irrational: If you don't know what size tampons you need, you may be facing unnecessary stress on your period. It can be overwhelming to look at the tampon aisle at a supermarket and decide whether you need junior, super plus or something in between. If you've bought one tampon size and sworn off tampons as a result, it may be time to try again. So what tampon size should you be using? It really does depend.
Tampons aren't supposed to hurt, and you shouldn't be able to feel them once they're inserted. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, you should pick the smallest-size tampon available when you're just starting out. You don't have to use tampons when you're menstruating, and some people are simply more comfortable with other menstrual hygiene products like pads, menstrual cups, or even period underwear. But if you do want to use tampons, you can make the experience super easy as long as you do some research beforehand.