How Safe Is It… to wear a tampon to bed?

How Safe Is It……. to wear a tampon to bed?


It is safe to wear a tampon to bed as long as you follow the directions on the product. Most products warn that you can wear a tampon for up to 4-8 hrs. However, if you typically sleep for longer than 8 hrs., you should wear a pad instead. The reason for this is although rare, TSS, or toxic shock syndrome, is a health concern. Bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus) that is often associated with TSS naturally live on our bodies without causing problems. However, certain conditions such as leaving a tampon in for longer periods of time than recommended can cause bacteria to grow and make toxins which can cause a severe infection and effect your reproductive organs.

The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and approves all tampons before they can be sold. Thus, tampons sold in standard grocery stores and pharmacies in the United States have been thoroughly tested for effectiveness and safety. The FDA recommends asking your health care provider if tampons are right for you. They also offer the following general advice about tampon use.

  1. Read and follow the tampon label instructions before using a new product.
  2. Only use tampons when you have a menstrual flow. Never use tampons for discharge or spotting-use a pantyliner instead.
  3. Never wear a tampon for longer than 4-8 hrs.
  4. Choose a tampon with the lowest absorbency that you need. Usually “regular” absorbency is fine.
  5. Be aware of pelvic pain or any other unusual symptoms such as a different or unpleasant vaginal discharge, and or pain when inserting a tampon. You should not be able to feel a tampon if it is inserted properly.
  6. Possible signs of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) include: a sudden fever, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting or feeling like you’re going to faint when standing up, dizziness, fainting or a sunburn-like rash. If you have any of these symptoms, remove the tampon, call your health care provider and go to the closest emergency room.

Read more: The Facts on Tampons—and How to Use Them Safely from the U.S. FDA