Tampons and pads are two of the most used methods in intimate hygiene during menstruation. Both are safe and their use depends on the preferences of each woman. Undoubtedly, and due to their discretion, one of the advantages of tampons is the comfort they provide, especially when practicing sports, bathing in the sea or in the pool, or simply wearing tight clothing.
Current tampons are easily inserted and removed and it is easy to forget about them for hours due to their high absorption capacity and total comfort. Wearing a tampon for a considerable period of time does not, in principle, imply any danger, but some doubts may arise.
Sleeping with tampons: is it bad for your health?
Although many women prefer to sleep with a pad that allows the menstrual flow to come out more easily, others opt for a tampon even at night. There are no studies or tests that indicate that, as a rule, using tampons while sleeping poses a health risk, as long as proper intimate hygiene is followed and the tampon is changed frequently enough.
Tampons are mainly made of cotton and synthetic fibers with high absorption capacity. If you are allergic to any of them, logically, you should avoid their use.
Going to bed with the right tampon for your vaginal discharge is also important, not only for comfort and safety when it comes to avoiding leaks and stains, but also because a tampon that does not absorb enough could cause excessive moisture in the vaginal area that could favor the appearance of bacteria and, with them, possible infections. In the opposite case, that is, a tampon that absorbs more than necessary in the face of a scarce menstrual flow could contribute to the development of small irritations or even vaginal dryness.
If you sleep with a tampon, you should check that you have inserted it correctly and that, therefore, it will not cause you any discomfort, because if it is inserted incorrectly, during the hours of sleep it could cause irritation or some slight damage to the delicate intimate area.
If you don't have your period you should never put tampons to sleep (as a precaution) nor if you are suffering from any type of urinary or vaginal infection.
With the proper precautions and as long as your gynecologist does not tell you otherwise, it does not hurt to sleep with tampons for a short period of time.
How long can a tampon be worn?
How often to change the tampon is a very common question when starting to use tampons. The use time of a tampon is limited and the different manufacturers of this hygiene product agree that it should not be worn for more than 7-8 hours . This is the problem posed by sleeping with it because, if it is a nap of a few hours, there would be no problem, but if we are talking about a long and peaceful night of more than eight hours of sleep, the tampon would not be complying its function and it would be essential to change it.
In reality, knowing exactly how long a tampon lasts will depend on different factors, but as a general idea, it can be said that its average use time ranges between 3 and 6 hours . The ideal is to change it every 4. As we have said, there are factors that influence the fact of changing it more or less frequently, mainly the amount of flow you have on each of the days that the period lasts.
Is Tampon Toxic Shock Syndrome Real?
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a real, serious and very rare disease about which it is important to clarify that it is not always necessarily related to the use of tampons.
It is an infection that can be caused by certain bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes. In specific cases, these bacteria, in contact with the mucous membranes (not only the vaginal ones), can generate dangerous toxins that the immune system will try to fight.
A tampon used for an excessive time can become an element that favors the proliferation of these bacteria, but it must be insisted that this would be an exceptional situation. For toxic shock to develop, a series of conditions would have to be present, such as inadequate intimate hygiene, a previous infection, a weakened immune system or some type of health deficiency. If all this is combined with an inadequate tampon to the existing menstrual flow that, in addition, has remained in the vaginal canal longer than is advisable, this could make you an even stronger risk factor for the development of bacterial infection.
Sudden high fever, vomiting, severe headaches or a sudden drop in blood pressure are some of the symptoms of this disease that requires urgent and immediate medical attention and that is generally treated satisfactorily with antibiotics.
In summary, it can be said that toxic shock syndrome is real and there are several causes that can trigger it. Although there have been cases in which the inappropriate and prolonged excessive use of tampons has influenced the development of the infection, this is not always linked to the use of tampons. Even so, changing it with due frequency is a basic hygiene measure and also a preventive measure when it comes to avoiding any risk of toxic shock.
If you have more questions about hygiene methods during your period, we invite you to visit our articles:
- Why does the rule stop with tampons
- How to use the menstrual cup
- Menstrual sponges: what they are and how they are used