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Date of last update: 10/14/2017.

Forum Name: Gynecology

Question: How Long Is Too Long To Leave a Tampon In?

 jlroth - Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:58 pm

My daughter is 15 years old and is on Yaz birth control pills. These pills have considerably lightened her menstrual flow. Therefore, my question is this: How often should she change her tampon daily if her flow is moderate to light? Is it a health risk to leave it in for more than six hours if it is not necessary to change it due to heavy flow? Is it still considered a health risk to change the tampon too often and risk getting toxic shock syndrome?

Thank you in advance for your help in this matter.



 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:27 pm

User avatar Hello,
It is recommended that tampons be changed after 8 hours at the most. The absorbency should be the least amount that will manage the flow. It is also wise to alternate with pads through the period. The association with Toxic Shock Syndrome is unclear but it is believed that rarely some people are especially sensitive to this common bacteria and they seem to react badly to it with toxins being created. We don't know who is susceptible so we recommend that everyone be diligent in hygiene to keep the area clean and remove older tampons that could potentially carry bacteria inside. Frequent changing of the tampon is not associated with increased risk - more likely this decreases the risk. However, your daughter should be taught to keep spare tampons in a clean container and to wash her hands before and after changing a tampon.

Best wishes.

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