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?

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    Mai Nguyen provides information about vaginal care.
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  • Mom mom Answer
    Ruth Anne Lemley answers your questions about your feminine care.
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    Sandy Knauf is helping change the way people talk about vaginal care.
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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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. This link will direct you to some information on menstrual cups, also known as the “diva cup." 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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