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Overnight Tampon Use during Sleep

Of the many topics you may be curious about in regards to tampons (like how do I insert one?), we know this is a big one: can I sleep with a tampon in?

We understand you have concerns – we’ve been there too! We’re here to tell you that like so many questions that people with periods have, the answer is twofold: yes, with the right information you can, and you have options! Let’s explore.

Is it bad to sleep with a tampon in?

Rest assured (pun intended) that if tampons are your preferred period protection you can sleep with one in for up to 8 hours . Asleep or awake, tampons need to be changed every 4 hours to a maximum of 8 hours.

You might be asking because you’ve heard of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) so let’s clear the air. TSS is a rare but serious infection caused by toxins (TSST-1) produced by certain strains of a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus (staph)1 . That’s right, tampons don’t actually cause TSS so anyone can get it, even a child or an adult who has never menstruated. Staph can be found naturally on human skin or mucous membranes but too much can become harmful and since about half of TSS infections are associated with menstruation2 , it’s worth being aware the details. First of all, know that TSS is treatable. You’ll need to remove your tampon and seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the symptoms associated with TSS.

What are the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome?

We’re so glad you asked. You’ll want to be on the lookout for:

  • Sudden high fever
  • Low blood pressure possibly causing dizziness
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Rash resembling a sunburn on your palms and soles
  • Redness of eyes, nose and mouth
  • Seizures3
  • Your risk of TSS is minimized if you change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours, wear the lowest absorbency necessary for your flow, and educate yourself about the symptoms of TSS so you know if you need to seek help.

    What happens when you leave a tampon in overnight?

    By now you know that no matter what time of day you use a tampon, you need to change it every 4 to 8 hours. At night, that might mean setting an alarm so you feel confident you’ll be awake in time to change it. It helps to put your tampon in immediately before you go to bed so you can maximize your sleep time.

    Know that you’ll be up with the sun and on the yoga mat before the birds start singing? We love that for you! U by Kotex Click® compact tampons have regular, super and super plus absorbency to accommodate any flow, depending where you are in your cycle. With up to 100% leak free protection, it’s the #1 compact Tampon for a reason! Literally pocket-sized, you can toss one into the smallest clutch or your most overflowing purse and be confident that despite its small stature it offers full size protection.

    What should I do if I want to sleep longer than 8 hours?

    The length of time you can sleep with a tampon in is the same as the length of time you can be awakewith one - a maximum of 8 hours! Looking to sleep in? Consider trying a U by Kotex Allnighter® period pad as an alternative for those mornings when you’d prefer to hit the snooze button. Allnighter® Ultra Thin Overnight Pads with Wings unique design moves with you for all night protection – no matter which sleep position you prefer! Your tampons will be waiting for you for daytime wear and Allnighter® pads allow you to stay cozy in bed while you scroll social media or stream your favourite show.

    How long does it take to get toxic shock syndrome from a tampon?

    We love a good recap so here goes. TSS is a rare bacterial infection that is sometimes but not always associated with tampon use. Symptoms of TSS usually develop within 3-5 days4 . Tampons are safe to wear for up to 8 hours but should be changed at the 8-hour mark, if not earlier.

    We hope that this information will empower you to make decisions that you feel comfortable with in regards to your period protection. Always remember that you have options: if a tampon doesn’t feel right but you’re not so into pads either, U by Kotex Dreamwear® disposable overnight period underwear offers maximum absorbency! Sleep around the clock with disposable period underwear specially designed for heavy, overnight flow. DreamWear® is designed to help prevent side and back period leaks for a worry-free, great night sleep. With full coverage and anti-leak protection, you can get all the beauty sleep you need knowing you have outstanding comfort and protection!

    In the event of accidentally leaving a tampon in for over 8 hours and experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, seek medical attention immediately.

    You can call your doctor, 9-1-1 or visit your nearest emergency room. Remember that Toxic Shock Syndrome is treatable and the most important thing is to get the help you need as soon as possible. As long as you are using pads, tampons, and other menstruation products within their recommended guidelines, the risk of getting TSS is quite low.

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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.