Question: Why does my period stop when I use a tampon?

  • Peer peer Answer
    Leah Sipher-Mann, one of our health advocates, offers peer support for your period.
    Leah Sipher-Mann
  • 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
  • I know sometimes it seems like your period stops when you have a tampon in, but actually, the tampon is just temporarily blocking the blood from coming out of your vagina. It acts like a barrier for the liquid coming out. That's a good thing because if it didn't, it might get all over your clothes! It can be hard to tell how heavy your flow is when you have a tampon in, and you might not feel totally comfortable with that. That's fine! You could also try out pads to see if that's more comfortable for you.

  • I’m sure it seems like your period stops when you have a tampon in, it really doesn’t. You only lose about 6-9 tablespoons of fluid during your entire period (and not all of it is blood). Perception is what makes it seem like you are losing more fluids with a pad than with a tampon, but even if you use tampons throughout your entire period your body will rid itself of the same amount of fluid.

  • The answer from my nurse practitioner brain is no, however, I have experienced this once before myself, but really had no explanation for it. Generally we think of mainly hormones and effects of physical stress (illness, poor diet, excessive exercise, change in sleep habits) and emotional stress (anxiety, depression) on these hormones as the biggest influence on the regularity and flow of the menstrual cycle. If this happens to you regularly, maybe there is some connection. Make sure to use a very light-flow tampon and if this is still dry after four hours, I recommend only using pads. Ask your health care provider during your next appointment, perhaps he/she may have an idea as to why this happens physiologically (how this happens functionally).

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