TIFU by putting tampons in wrong for 10 YEARS

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I feel so embarrassed. I (23F) have had my period for more than 10 years now, and I just learned, from a Reddit post of all places, that you are not supposed to just shove the whole thing, applicator and all, up there and then leave it like that. I have a Biochemistry degree. I have travelled the world. And yet somehow I never figured this one out. This is my first and probably last reddit post because I cannot keep my horror at the fact that I’ve been keeping pieces of plastic in my vagina for ten years inside, but I absolutely cannot fathom telling anyone I know about this. I have always thought that tampons were super uncomfortable (for reasons that are now glaringly obvious) and mostly used pads, but I love swimming and so I use tampons fairly frequently during the summer. As best as I can figure, I have used hundreds of tampons in this way. I have been scouring my brain but I don’t think that anyone ever told me about this, despite the multiple, wildly uncomfortable health classes I had to take in grade school. The worst part is that I knew the plastic bit was called the applicator, I just figured that was because it made putting it in easier and you were just supposed to leave it in. Thank you, redditors, for listening, and I can only hope that this horrifying blunder of mine will convince you to explain very clearly to your children how tampons work. TLDR; I have been using tampons wrong for ten years and am extremely embarrassed

Edit to answer some common questions: yes, the whole thing fit up there. Maybe I just have a long vagina idk. No, it probably didn’t work great but I only kept them in for a couple of hours at most while I went swimming and I used them very infrequently, maybe a few times a year. There are lots of comments asking why I didn’t read the instructions. Well, my mom always just had loose tampons lying around. I’ve bought my own maybe once or twice but that was when I was much older so by that point I felt confident in my tampon-using abilities and never read the instructions (lol). I had health class and went to grade school in a fairly liberal public school district. Now I am questioning what I thought was a fairly comprehensive health education.

There are some comments asking if I can read or saying that I must not have gone to a good college/ worked hard for my degree. Please don’t be rude. In my experience sometimes it’s the people who are really smart at one thing that are super dumb at others. I want to thank the people who shared their own tampon blunders for helping me feel less alone in this embarrassing mistake.

Another edit: people are also asking about how I could have had that much of a lack in curiosity about how it worked. I think when I was younger I felt a lot of shame around my body and didn’t want to think about it any more than absolutely necessary, and once I got older and more comfortable I kind of thought I knew everything I needed to about tampons

submitted by /u/meg7489494 to r/tifu [link] [comments]