Question: Can you wear a tampon if you're beginning your period, or really light, or spotting?

  • Peer peer Answer
    Jamie Villarreal is helping change the way people talk about vaginal care.
    Jamie Villarreal
  • Mom mom Answer
    Stacey DuFord is a mom here to answer questions about period care.
    Stacey DuFord
  • Health Expert health expert Answer
    Sandy Knauf is helping change the way people talk about vaginal care.
    Sandy Knauf
  • Sure you can! When my period is really light I usually use a panty liner. If I know I’m going to be very active and a panty liner just won’t work, I use a tampon. Usually the lightest absorbency does the trick but, even if your period is light, remember that you still have to change your tampon frequently.

  • I don’t like pads so I use tampons from the minute my period starts until it ends. I’ve never really had issues with spotting though, so I’m not sure what I would do in that situation. I think I would probably go with a liner.

    When using tampons, remember to choose the correct absorbency for the flow you are experiencing. At the start of your period or when it is really light, choose the lowest absorbency that works for you and adjust as your flow changes. If you really want to use a tampon during spotting, choose the lowest absorbency.

  • That’s a good question. Tampons are made to be worn for four to eight hours. If your flow is continuous and heavy enough to remove the tampon after four hours and it does not feel dry, then it is okay to wear one. But for days that you are spotting, I would not recommend wearing a tampon. Remember that you always want to use the lightest absorbency that you need to prevent tearing or irritating the vaginal wall tissue. This could be very uncomfortable and could even lead to infection. So, if your period starts of slow and spotty, if a light tampon feels dry after three to four hours or if you are spotting, a light pad or liner is probably a better choice for your period protection.

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