A woman stands a high risk of developing toxic shock syndrome (TSS) if a tampon remains in place for a long time without being changed, says gynecologist Ha T. Nguyen, M.D. According to National institute of Health (NIH), TSS is a bacterial infection caused by the staph bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus.
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How long can a tampon be left in?
According to every tampon maker, it isn’t advisable to leave a tampon in for more than eight hours. Healthcare professionals then agreed to change their tampon every four to eight hours, says Nguyen.
You can sleep with a tampon in as long as you insert it right before bed. Endeavour to get no more than eight hours of sleep, and take it out immediately you wake up.
According to Obosa Nosayaba Osawe, M.D., an ob-gyn at Piedmont Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Athens, Georgia, “You shouldn’t keep a super-absorbent tampon in for too longer than eight hours”.
When your tampon becomes soaked with blood, even a small amount and is left in the vagina for longer than eight hours. It becomes a breeding place for the growth of bacteria linked with TSS.
According to Osawe; “If you can wear a tampon for up to eight hours without needing to change it, the absorbency is likely too high, and you’re better off using a smaller tampon and changing it regularly based on your menstrual flow.”
Is TSS the worst effect of tampon left in for too long?
Yes. Toxic shock syndrome is very bad. It typically comes on fast, with flu-like symptoms, including headaches, high fever, and muscle aches. If left untreated, it can progress rapidly to organ failure, seizures, and even death.
The infection also comes with a revealing rash. It’s flat, red, and appears on the palms of hands or soles of feet. If you have any flu-like symptoms, consult your doctor.