Why Does My Tampon Keep Falling Out? 

Tampon Troubleshooting and Prevention Tips

As a convenient and popular menstrual product, tampons serve an important role during that time of the month. However, it can certainly be frustrating and worrying when a tampon slips out of place or falls completely out of the vagina, as explained in this article on why tampons fall out. While an occasional mishap is not unusual, frequent tampon “dropping” indicates an underlying issue that needs addressing. Read on to learn the most common reasons behind tampon loss and expert advice to keep them comfortably in place.

Improper Angle of Insertion 

One of the most common reasons a tampon fails to stay put is that it was inserted at a wrong angle. The vaginal canal naturally tilts slightly upward, toward the small of the back. Therefore, tampons should always be inserted at a gentle upward angle, not straight up and down. 

Inserting a tampon straight up or down means it is more likely to slip down lower in the canal. This leaves it precariously close to the vaginal opening, making full expulsion all too easy. Following the natural upwards slant of the vagina keeps the tampon safely lodged in the deepest, narrowest part.

Take a moment to pay attention to the angle as you insert your next tampon. Point the applicator slightly toward the direction of your lower back, not straight towards the spine or perineum. Guide the tampon toward that rear, upper zone of the vagina. This placement utilizes your anatomy for secure holding power.

Not Inserting the Tampon Far Enough

Even if you have the angle right, the tampon needs to be fully inserted to stay in properly. Leaving a portion of the tampon sticking out of the vaginal opening provides an easy means for the tampon to slide right out again.  

Be sure to press the tampon applicator all the way in, until your fingers touch your body. The narrow “grip ring” section is meant to protrude slightly for removal, but no portion of the absorbent part should be visible. Any part of the tampon hanging out beyond your vaginal opening can unwind or work itself free.

Check that you are using the applicator correctly. The inner tube must be positioned highest before depressing the outer tube to eject the tampon. This allows it to travel the full length of the canal. If the tubes are straight or reversed, the tampon may not deploy deeply enough. Review the instructions if ever unsure. With deep, proper placement, the tampon is more likely to stay snugly in position.

Using Too Low of an Absorbency

Surprisingly, choosing a tampon that is not absorbent enough for your flow can also lead to the tampon slipping out. Say you insert a regular absorbency tampon, but your menstrual flow is particularly heavy that day. 

As the lightly absorbent tampon quickly saturates, blood will start to leak past it. This escaping fluid essentially lubricates and loosens the tampon, allowing it to slide down or be pushed entirely out of the vaginal opening when you move or bear down.  

If you find your tampons falling out on heavy days, opt for higher absorbency like super or super plus. This absorptive power will prevent bypass leakage that dislodges the tampon. Of course, be sure to change it often and never exceed the advised wear time. The right absorbency for your unique flow is key to tampon success.

Physical Activity and Bearing Down

An active lifestyle can also contribute to tampon mishaps. Physical exercise causes lots of body movement, bouncing and bearing down of abdominal muscles. During workouts or sports, these forces can nudge an inserted tampon partially out of place or completely out.

Likewise, any strenuous activity like heavy lifting, straining during bowel movements, or chronic cough can create pressure that pushes out an inserted tampon. This is especially true if insertion angle and depth were suboptimal to begin with. 

To avoid exercise or exertion related tampon loss, consider wearing a pad as backup protection on heavy activity days. Change to a fresh tampon after intense workouts or abdominal straining to ensure it is properly situated. Also be sure to insert tampons at the deepest angle possible if an active day is ahead.

Vaginal Muscle Strength Factors

The strength and tone of the vaginal muscles play an important role in securely holding a tampon in place. Some women simply have naturally stronger pelvic floors, allowing them to grip tampons firmly. However, multiple factors can weaken vaginal muscle strength.

Childbirth is a common cause of weakened pelvic floor and vaginal muscles. Pregnancy followed by the trauma of delivery frequently overstretches these tissues. Post-menopausal women also often experience pelvic muscle laxity due to lower estrogen levels. 

Genetics, aging, and medical conditions like pelvic prolapse can also affect pelvic tightness. If your vaginal muscles have lost gripping power and tone, it allows an inserted tampon to slip lower and be expelled.

Renewing pelvic strength through Kegel exercises is an excellent remedy. Regularly contracting and relaxing the vaginal muscles tones tissue and improves tampon retention ability. Discuss any severe laxity issues with your gynecologist as well.

Menstrual Flow Changes 

As your period progresses and menstrual flow starts tapering off, the vaginal muscles may begin actively pushing out a tampon. This is a natural protective mechanism.

When flow becomes very light, the dry absorbent tampon provides uncomfortably more friction against the vaginal walls. The tissues respond by contracting to expel the irritant. This biological response becomes more prominent as women age.

If a tampon seems to pop out spontaneously on lighter days, it is likely this mechanism at work. Switch to a thin pantyliner or pad as your period wanes. The vagina tolerates these less intrusive products than a suddenly over-absorbent tampon.

Trouble with Tampon Applicator Use 

Proper handling of the tampon applicator is paramount for correct placement. Fumbling the applicator tubes can totally sabotage insertion depth and angle. Be sure to follow directions and grasp the tubes correctly.

Remember to position the inner tube highest before depressing the outer tube. This allows the tampon to travel full length. Conversely, if the tubes are straight across or reversed, the tampon will not insert deeply enough, leaving it prone to quick escape.

Press the outer tube fully down to deploy the tampon into the canal. Leaving the plunger partially depressed can result in partial insertion, putting the tampon in jeopardy of working itself free. Mastering applicator use ensures the tampon is correctly and securely situated.

Anatomical Factors 

In rarer cases, a woman’s individual anatomy may make tampon retention difficult. Factors like a severely tilted uterus or mild pelvic organ prolapse can affect the vaginal depth and positioning. This may allow tampons to work their way out occasionally despite correct usage.

See your gynecologist if you still struggle with tampon placement despite addressing all the above factors. An exam can determine if any anatomical traits like a retroverted uterus contribute to the problem. Your doctor may recommend alternative menstrual products if tampon use remains problematic.

Know When to Ask for Help

Occasional tampon mishaps are quite normal and no major cause for alarm. However, if you find yourself continuously struggling with tampons dropping out, take action to identify the underlying cause.

Review your insertion method and absorbency selection first. Try different tampon brands and designs to see if a switch helps. Boost your activity levels cautiously to see if high exertion is the issue. Monitor your flow and adjust products accordingly. Improving fundamental tampon use often remedies the problem.

If you continue experiencing frequent tampon loss despite troubleshooting, consult your gynecologist. Let them know how long the issue has persisted and what steps you have taken to resolve it. Be prepared to describe your tampon usage in detail to identify any user error. 

Your gynecologist can examine for factors like vaginal laxity or pelvic organ positioning issues. Additional advice and treatment is available if anatomical variants are hampering success. With the right adjustments, you can get back on track for hassle-free tampon wear once again.