Health And Wellness

Can You Sleep With A Tampon In?

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what happens if you sleep w/ tampon in overnight

Part of your nightly routine during your time of the month may be reaching for a tampon or pad before turning in for the night. But what you may not have thought about is not only how sleeping in a tampon affects your body, but how long sleeping in a tampon can affect your body.

Can you sleep with a tampon in? Well, if you're sleeping in on the weekends or you wear your tampons for extended periods of time, you may need to listen up. We spoke with a gynocologist who gave us the inside scoop on just what exactly can happen if you're not too careful with your tampons.

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1. Know your limits.

Obosa Nosayaba Osawe, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist at Piedmont Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology, has some advice for when you're turning in for the night. 

“Tampons can be worn for up to eight hours during the day or at night, so long as they are not fully saturated, but never wear a tampon for more than eight hours. If you typically sleep for more than eight hours at night or need coverage for more than eight hours, it’s safer to use a pad rather than a tampon,” she says.

2. Understand your flow and cycle.

Understanding your flow and how often you're changing out your tampons is another thing to keep an eye on when it's your time of the month.

"A tampon that is saturated with blood is a supportive place for rapid growth of bacteria, which is why I recommend regularly changing based on your menstrual flow and not leaving one in for more than eight hours... Tampons aren’t right for everyone, and there are other coverage options available," Osawe advises.

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3. There are risks of toxic shock syndrome.

You've probably read about toxic shock syndrome on the back of your tampon box and never thought twice again. However, leaving a tampon in for extended periods of time can be extremely dangerous.

According to Osawe, "Leaving one in for longer than eight hours can significantly increase the risk of infection or toxic shock. Leaving a tampon in for too long can lead to infections, which could lead to toxic shock syndrome, a life-threatening condition caused by the release of toxic substances from an overgrowth of bacteria in the body."

4. Always check the ingredients in your tampons.

Did you know that there is no rule for tampon brands to disclose the ingredients they use to make a tampon? Kind of crazy, right? Something you're putting into your body has a list of undisclosed ingredients? No thank you!

On the off chance your preferred brand does list their ingredients, give it a look and make sure you are aware of everything being used. The brand Lola is a completely organic line of tampons made of 100 percent pure cotton. And they even make pads and lube too.

5. Opt for a pad instead.

The weekends are precious to us, and most of the time that means a little extra sleep. If that's the case, try and sleep in a pad so you can be worry-free when turning in for the night. Don't risk toxic shock syndrome and bacteria build up. Play it safe!

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Shelby Slaughter's lifestyle writing has been featured on Martha Stewart, HelloGiggles, Byride, and more. She has a zest for storytelling and sharing news with the world.