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Is it safe to put on a tampon at night? Specialists shed more light on this

Health - By Mirror

With roughly 40 reported cases in the UK each year - of which there are two to three fatalities - Toxic Shock Syndrome is exceptionally rare.

A bacterial infection caused by the Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, while it can affect anyone, about half of cases are linked with women using tampons.

If you were given the 'puberty' chat at school, it's likely the risks of TSS were explained. There are also additional warnings on tampon packaging.

Most people know to change them frequently, but there's a bit of a 'grey area' over sleeping with one in.

The regular wisdom states they should be changed every four to eight hours, meaning changing one before bed should be OK.


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Board-certified ob-gyn Dr Pari Ghodsi told Glamour this decision is subjective, and entirely depends on a woman's cycle.

Time to ditch these at night?

"A woman may use all options at night to stop the flow of blood that she may use during the day.

"Her choice may depend on her flow. If she has very heavy flow, a tampon may not be able to absorb all of her menstrual blood overnight."

But other medical professionals strongly disagree and advise against wearing a tampon at night.

Dr Dasha Fielder told Mamamia the eight hour limit is too long.

"You should absolutely not leave tampons in overnight and instead opt for pads while sleeping. You should be changing your tampon every three hours."

While Dr Fielder appreciates this sometimes isn't possible, she does stress how leaving a tampon in for hours can increase the risk of TSS.

What are the symptoms of TSS?

The first symptom is usually a sudden high fever, when the body temperature rises above 38.9 degrees.

Other symptoms then rapidly follow within the next few hours, including:

nausea and vomiting


flu-like symptoms (headache, muscle aches, sore throat and cough)

fainting or feeling faint

dizziness or confusion

When to seek medical advice

If you develop a sudden fever and one or more of the other symptoms, the NHS says it is still extremely unlikely that you have TSS. However, symptoms like these should never be ignored and if you are concerned you should seek medical advice immediately.

If you are wearing a tampon and experience these symptoms, remove it immediately and make your doctor aware.

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