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Question:

I know you’re not supposed to sleep in a tampon if you sleep more than 8 hours, but what would I do if I ONLY use tampons? Is it okay to go over the 8 hour limit by say 15 minutes?

PEER ANSWER

Um, this is an awesome question. High five for asking it. So, as long as you don’t have one single tampon in for any longer than 8 hours, you’re set and good to go. There isn’t a time limit on how long you can use tampons in general, simply a time limit on how long you should use one single tampon before changing it out.

MOM ANSWER

As a mom, I advise my girls to listen closely to the advice of health experts like our Real Answers panelist Sandy Knauf. Recently, she answered a question very similar to yours. She advised that longer wear is associated with problems like irritation, tearing, and infections; including toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Plan on changing your tampon every four to eight hours for the safest and most reliable protection. But it’s totally fine to wear tampons all day, every day during your period as long as you change them as recommended!

EXPERT ANSWER

Some “rules” are easier to bend than others. The 8-hour time limit is recommended because after 8 hours of wear you are more likely to develop an irritation or infection from the tampon (including the complication of TSS – Toxic Shock Syndrome). Because the potential complications outweigh the benefit of you wearing a tampon for longer than the recommended time, I think it’s important to find an alternative to wearing a tampon longer than 8 hours. You could try either some nighttime pads or a menstrual cup at night. I know trying new things can be difficult, but I think it is also just as important to do the right thing for your body to stay healthy!

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This is not intended to be medical advice. Everybody is different so please make sure to consult your physician if you're having issues. Do not delay or refrain from seeking professional medical advice from your physician because of something you have read on this site.

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