I have my period this week, which is rubbish for all the usual reasons, but ESPECIALLY rubbish when you're trying to sort your vagina out. No dilators, no fingers, no sexy time with the husband. It's a very unproductive, inconvenient time. Or is it?
I just decided to attempt a tampon.
I have tried this in the past, starting when I was a teenager, but never had any luck. When I was at school, there was a story floating around about a girl a few years older who stuck a Mars Bar into her vagina at a sleepover, and then couldn't get it out. She had to go to hospital and have it surgically removed AND her boyfriend dumped her. I fully believed this story, although now I have met people from all over the world who also went to school with a girl a few years older who put a Mars Bar in her vagina... so I'm thinking it might have been a rumour.
Alongside the Mars Bar story, I remember reading an article about toxic shock syndrome and how leaving a tampon inside for too long could basically make you die. I'm a natural worrier (shocking, right?) and convinced myself that a horrible combination of the two stories was going to happen to me. The tampon would get stuck, I would have to go to hospital and then tragically die of toxic shock syndrome. And my boyfriend would probably dump me. Even though I was already dead. You could say I was an over-thinker.
All joking aside, I now realise my failed tampon attempts where the earliest signs of vaginismus. Fear of what might happen if the tampon went inside started those involuntary muscle spasms I now know so well.
So I've lived my life only using sanitary towels, which is fine. There have been about 3 occasions in my life where it's been awkward (like being caught out with a surprise bleed and a friend offered a tampon. Cue me running to the toilet, shoving tampon in the bin and rolling up piles of toilet roll and putting it in my pants as a make-shift towel). The other difficult times have been on holiday, when a period has prevented me from swimming in the pool. But nothing major.
It would be nice to have a choice though.
So tonight, I attempted a tampon. And it went in. It felt a bit uncomfortable, and I only left it in for a few minutes before pulling it out and going back to my trusty sanitary towel, but hey. It was in. I used a tampon tonight, ladies and gentlemen. OK, so I didn't actually leave my bathroom whilst it was inserted but, as always, small steps!
Tell me your tampon tales! firstname.lastname@example.org
Tampon tweet @heyvaginismus