embrassing question - one for the ladies

Hi The last couple of months I have really struggled to rremove my tampons I can’t seem to be able to grip the string strong enough to pull. Does anyone know if there is a gadget you canget to help. IIt’s not the sort of thing you can ask someone to help you with. The thought of having to go backto pads fills me with hhorror of feeling of pads. Is bad enough dealing with pads to copewith pads for leakage. BBarney

hey barney,

Had the same thing at the begining of my relapse last year. I have now had to reort back to using mostly pad (eeewww) but i did discover something gross but useful. I found that if i toook a pen to loo and wrapped the string round it then pulled it gave the length of the pen more leverage for my hands to pull straight down fluidly so as to remove it easier?

U know what i mean? Just loop it around, grab string wih thumbs and finger (as well as pen) and pull, worked for me.

Not found anything to help with this but (being very personal here, sorry!) i did ask hubby a couple of times to help and although he did pull a face he helped when asked. Personal i know but hey, what are they there for if u cant ask for a favour every now and again hahahahaha!!!

Let me know if you do discover a gadget as i would be interested too!

Lea xx

Greetings,NAUGHTY BOY,but all the blokes will look,and we do know about Girly things.I understood the pen idea,but what about a pair of medical forceps to catch the string,maybe turn them and wrap the string around,then you can…If there is too much winding invovled maybe you could cut the string down before…

The forceps are about £3 from the big river.There are straight ended or curved,different lengths and all types clip tight shut.Maybe a pair of each,or maybe you may spot something similar but different that may do the job,

Good luck,


Hi Barney I’ve not had this problem, thankfully, but can imagine how difficult it could be! Would it be possible to attach something to the string BEFORE you use it? I’m not sure what - whether a loop of string or something? I just thought that may be less fiddley Jane xx

Hiya Barney, I’ve been racking my brains a bit about this one as I can see that it could indeed be a problem if you have a weak grip. What about trying to use one of those panty liners ( thin smallish ones ) and taking the strip off to reveal the sticky side then maybe wrap that around the string, hopefully the sticky side will immediately attach itself to the string and then you can sort of fold it around ( just in half really ) the string and then grip on the pad ( as it’s a bigger surface ) and pull. Obviously it’s a waste of a liner but it could work ??? Sorry if anyone thinks that is a bizarre solution but I really think it could help. xx

That’s not a bad idea. You could use the own brand supermarket ones which would be rubbish as panty liners at something like 30p for a box but for this job would be plenty good enough.

The other thing which may help is to tie a knot in the string before you use it…certainly the ones I buy aren’t knotted, but I always knot them as it gives me an extra grip.

I thought it was just me. When my fingersdon’t want to work I have resorted to winding the string around my finger. I do still have the strength to pull it though so that probably isn’t much help. The big problem I do have is actually pushing the tube in. The fingers can’t grip it properly!

I haven’t got an answer as to what exactly would work but increasing surface area or looping/winding the string sound like sensible options. I’m sure there are many other people who have this issue - not just people with MS.

I have my entrepneurial (can’t spell!) hat on here but I believe we should use our bad experiences and struggles and do something to help to improve quality of life not just for ourselves but for others that are or will be in a similar situation. There’s little awareness or thought put into everyday things that people with a disbaility or health problem struggle with.

Think of some ideas - you’ve got some thoughts above for how removing a tampon could be made easier for you. Get the MS society inolveved and ask them to do a survey on how many people have grip problems and as a result struggle removing a tampon or have had to abandon using a tampon. Pilot an idea for what could be used to improve things (maybe the tampons could come with a loop already at the end of the string - thats a small change etc) - see how succesful the people with grip problems have found using your idea/invention. Then take this idea to a tampon company - with evidence there of the market and usefulness I’m sure it would be snapped up.

Good luck Barney I hope you find a suitable solution to help you with this dilema. Sorry I couldn’t be of any further help but maybe I’ve given you or anyone else who reads the post some food for thought that might make a difference for others in the future.



Thanks everyone for your ideas I will give them a go and see how they work. Pen does sound like a good idea, can use a cheap one so don’t use it for anything else. And hope I don’t drop it in the toilet!!! Barney

Do hope none of my friends read this post as now they are going to know why I carried a large bulldog clip in my handbag before I reached a certain age! Good luck Barney - let us know how the trials go.

I have the same trouble but I also have problems inserting them now. My dr has suggested having a coil fitted? Anyone else tried this to stop periods?

Never had a coil fitted, had finished adding to my family years previously so ended up with sub-total hysterectomy- kept the ovaries so didnt need HRT. Bit drastic but there were other reasons too. Never looked back it cured several problems for me and saved a fortune on those little items women need every month! I have heard of a couple of people having the coil fitted one it worked well for one it didn’t. Probably a case of trying the coil and seeing if it works for you. My doctor did say I could take the contraceptive pill without the 7 day break which I tried but didn’t work for me.

Hi everyone!

What a collection of brilliant ideas to try! I also thought it was just me that had difficulties and thought that icky pads were my only option!

I almost feel like contacting Tampax to ask them to review the string on tampons… actually, I will!

I’ll let you know how I get on…

Asher xx

Maybe we should all do that and then they might think its a popular request.

And if its framed as a complaint then we might all get free ones hehe



I had the Mirena Coil fitted after I started having periods again on the Depo Provera injection (3 years of having none when first on that). The coil didn’t ever completely stop my periods and after about 9 months I was coming on every 2 weeks, for a week and even though it was very light, it was a real inconvenience. I ended up having it removed and going back on the Depo injection. So far so good, it seems to have stopped my periods again.


Hi It’s funny you should post about this as I also have the same problem, I emailed them last week suggesting a loop attachment, I had a response to say that they were looking into my enquiry & would get back to me shortly. Watch this space. Sue x

Can’t help I’m afraid, but you have some excellent ideas to try. My problem isn’t getting a grip on the cord, I can do that, I have more of a problem balancing long enough to put a new tampon in, I’m ok taking it to take it out. I have to lean against the wall to get my balance and usually just about manage. Lea, my husband has helped me too on occasion! Cheryl:-)

I am so glad this has been brought up, as, although not yet dx, I have had problems with my hands for a while now and am having increasing difficulty using tampons. Couple this with balance problems and it can become a right pain. Without putting too fine a point on it, bending forward to sort things out makes me fall forwards, so it’s a fine balancing act!

I will definitely be trying some of these ideas to make things easier and quicker!

This is funny i would never of mentioned this to anyone. But I have the same problem too, didnt actually think anyone else did too. Like the idea of a bull dog clip or forcepts, not so sure about the pen, can’t quite work out how that would work, dunno how I would wrap it around the pen lol or how I would tie a knot. Iv not quite got to the point of askin the bf to help, don’t think he would like the idea too much.