Hi Katie. Huge CONGRATS on being able to use tampons. Post-procedure, I remember it being so nice to finally be able to successfully wear them and you are so right that they are soooooo much better than pads. I wanted to share an excellent post from Karla concerning removing the applicator. In it, she writes that she successfully removed the applicator by twisting it like you do to remove the dilators. This is an excellent idea. Specifically, she writes:

“I would have never guessed this would actually happen! Even after doing fairly well with the dilators and achieving full penile insertion a couple of times, there was still this part of me that wanted nothing to do with inserting a tampon!!! Well, yesterday evening I was able to overcome that fear and insert my very first tampon ever (at age 34!). I was able to insert the tampon just fine (thanks to the work with the dilators) but something about pushing the part inside of me had me thrown for a loop. I was using a really small tampon initially but after inserting it, I found myself having difficulty pushing the actual cotton part inside. I think it was because I’d used a little too much lube and my hands were a bit slippery. So, I took that one out and had to use a regular sized tampon because I didn’t have any more of the small ones. I put lube on the regular size one but made sure to just get it on the applicator part. I was able to insert it fine. I took my time pushing the cotton part inside of me since I had no idea what the feeling would be like. Then came time to remove the applicator. This took a little time as I seemed to have to work it out – kind of turning it as with the dilators. And there it was – nothing but the string hanging out of me! The instructions (yes, I did have to read them lol) said if you didn’t feel anything then you did it correctly and I truly didn’t feel a thing! It still felt strange as I knew something was inside of me but I couldn’t feel it whereas I was used to having dilators inside of me but knew they were there. I left it in for about an hour. Then came the part of removing the tampon. I did kind of get really nervous here because it seemed like it did’t want to come out! I didn’t want to tug too hard so that it didn’t feel sore but couldn’t figure out how to pull it out without that happening. I just continued pulling slowly until I felt it starting to move. Once that happened, it just kind of pulled right on out! I’m so glad that I pushed through and continued on to the end to accomplish this. I hope that this gives someone else encouragement that may be struggling with this…as is usually said (and it is SO true)…if I can do it, anyone can!!”