(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:
- Turn on the hot water to a comfortable temperature
- Pump the applicator under the running water
- Take the applicator apart (pull out the plunger from the barrel)
- 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!
- Rinse well and pat dry
- 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.