Is it OK to use tampons when you’re a virgin?

Many of you have jumped right in and offered up words of advice and support on many matters of health and wellness. Now let’s turn our attention to a younger reader who has reached out in her blog for our help.

Katea posted:

I am virgin, 15 years old  and I have a big problem.

Katea wants to know if it is OK to use tampons before she chooses to become sexually active. She needs our advice soon because — as every woman with a period and an adorable tankini knows well — she wants to spend a lot of time at the beach this summer.

While using tampons from their first period is no big deal for many young women, others are concerned about preserving the hymen or even their virginity. While virginity is defined as someone who has never had sexual intercourse and tampons are generally regarded as safe for use by virgins, some women are simply unsure if they can go through with it.

Whatever Katea’s (or your own) concerns are, please offer her some of your experiences and guidance.

Do you think it is OK to use tampons while you are a virgin?

And what concerns did you have about your body before you had sex the first time?

The Editor’s Reply:

I had to get a crash course in tampons when I started my period two days before leaving for Florida for a marine biology trip when I was 15–and still a virgin. From my experience, I had no problems with the tampons and actually never went back to pads after that. Several years later when I did decide to become sexually active, my hymen was still intact. I know that everyone is different and people’s bodies react differently to each situation, but I have never had any problems with tampons. I would suggest to Katea to try tampons if she is comfortable with the idea but if she experiences pain or discomfort to discontinue the use. I think using tampons is completely different from intercourse and she can consider herself a virgin, even if her hymen tears. By the way, a woman’s hymen can tear from any number of activities, not just sex. Yes tampons can do it, but also playing sports, riding a horse, a jaring fall or accident. Also, sometimes the hymen doesn’t tear when a woman does have sex for the first time.