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Vaginal applicator – how to

Posted by womentc in Menopause & Painful Sex, Women's Health 18 May 2009

(This post was updated in December 2014, and again in May 2016)

A vaginal applicator is used for inserting different preparations into the vagina: medication (i.e. Monistat for infection), hormones (i.e. estrogen, such as Premarin or Estrace), lubricants (i.e. Replens), etc.

Some applicator come pre-loaded and are used only once before being discarded.  Others are used repetitively and  last for months/years as long as they are properly cleaned.  The applicator of a tampon is a mini version of a disposable vaginal applicator.

Watch our YouTube video How to Use and Clean a Vaginal Applicator, or read on:

To use an applicator:

  • Screw the straight end with the threading onto the tube of the preparation to are to use (lube, medication, estrogen)
  • Fill the applicator to desired or prescribed level
  • Unscrew, and add a dollop of the preparation to the tip to smooth its way into the vagina
  • If you use vaginal estrogen, smear some on the vulva & clitoris before inserting into vagina
  • Insert the loaded applicator into the vagina and empty it (press the plunger part into the barrel part)
  • Hold it closed as you take it out so it won’t re-suck what you just deposited in the vagina

To clean a reusable applicator:

  1. Turn on the hot water to a comfortable temperature
  2. Pump the applicator under the running water
  3. Take the applicator apart (pull out the plunger from the barrel)
  4. Wash the applicator parts with soap and water; you may use a Q-tip for removing leftover residue from the tip of the barrel, or better yet – get an eyebrow brush and dedicate it for this very purpose – it works great!
  5. Rinse well and pat dry
  6. Leave disassemble, wrap in a paper towel, and let dry until ready to be reused

Do not boil the applicator as it will cause it to melt and lose it shape & functionality.

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