Contract and RELAX Your Pelvic Floor
OK, you’re getting there! You’ve had a good look with a mirror and you’re starting to get to know the landscape down there. You’re confident you’ve chosen the right position to insert the tampon.
But for some reason, when you try to put it in, it just feels like there’s a wall there.
Like there’s nowhere to go.
I can’t tell you how many women have told me that “nothing will go in there”. They start to doubt they even have the right anatomy. When they try to insert a tampon (or have sex) they feel a blockage or obstruction, like there’s something in the way.
I’ve got great news for you. There is nothing in the way.
It just feels like there is because the walls of the vaginal opening collapse together at rest.
The walls of the vagina are basically made of muscle. This is called the pelvic floor muscle. These muscles make the walls firm but elastic. These muscles help “keep the door closed” to keep out unwanted visitors. They are like the Guardians of the Gate.
It’s their job to decide if the visitor is a friend or foe. If the muscles realise the visitor is friendly, they relax. They make space. They allow an opening – but it’s a bit like a secret opening.
A secret entrance.
Can you feel how to “close” the vagina?
Some people say it’s like winking or blinking, if the vagina was an eye. Others say it’s like squeezing and lifting the vagina from the inside. If you don’t mind getting graphic, it’s like slowing down and stopping the flow of urine, or tightening around the anus (“bum-hole”) as though trying not to pass wind.
I like to think of the muscles of the vagina like the roof of an exotic circus tent.
It’s made of a velvety, silky, flowy material. This material hangs from the ceiling and billows up and down as it’s lifted and lowered. See if you can “lift your circus tent”. This closes the vagina. Then lower or drop your circus tent. This allows an opening. Remember, it isn’t a big wide open door, advertising to everyone that it’s open. It’s a secret opening, designed for entry by members of the “inner sanctum” only.
Using the position you decided on earlier (and the mirror if you need to refresh your memory), hold the tampon at the entrance to the vagina. Try lifting and lowering your circus tent (or any of the cues above). If you have the mirror, you may get an idea of the secret entrance opening.
When you lower the circus tent, let the opening envelop the top part of the tampon.
See if you can feel that there is a little bit of “give” – the secret entrance is opening and there is “somewhere to go”. The tampon doesn’t have to slide in first go. You just don’t want it to be pushed away.
If this doesn’t work for you, here’s another idea. Keep the tampon in the same position.
Try gently bearing down, like you’re laying an egg.
(This “laying an egg” analogy I owe to the wonderful American pelvic floor physical therapist Ramona Horton).
As you “lay the egg” the secret entrance opens. You may not see it – but you will feel that little bit of “give”. Do this as many times as you need to feel that the tampon is being enveloped further into the vagina.
Experiment! Don’t worry if it doesn’t work first time.
What tips have you found best for relaxing your pelvic floor muscles?
Need more help? Click here to read Step 4 in the series about successfully using a tampon!