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Can you sleep with tampon?

16 Jan, 2024
Johnno van den Brink

During your period you may use a tampon during the day, but can you sleep with tampon? Medical advice states that it is important to change the tampon before going to bed, if you want to use them during the night. However, it is strongly advised that it is generally best not to sleep with a tampon in.

Why is it better not to sleep with tampon?

Experts recommend that you don’t sleep with a tampon in, because they are only to be used only for a limited time before it needs to be removed and changed. It is recommended that a tampon should not stay in your body for more than 8 hours.

If you do keep a tampon in longer, you can develop Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This condition is rare. TSS is caused by bacterial toxins – the bacteria can poison your body, which can lead to a range of health issues.

What is TSS?

TSS stands for Toxic Shock Syndrome and can be caused by wearing a tampon in for too long. Specific bacteria multiply rapidly and start secreting certain toxic proteins. These bacteria are already in our bodies in small amounts, but the use of tampon over a long period of time increases the amount of bacteria in the user.

The following symptoms are common in people with TSS:

  • Headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Red rash that is flat and covers most areas of the body

If you experience these symptoms, you should contact a doctor immediately or call the NHS 111 service. To avoid getting TSS, change your tampons regularly and do not wear them longer than the recommended time. Also, consider wearing a different type of sanitary protection at night during your period.

How long with you sleep with a tampon?

It is not recommended to sleep with tampon in – yet there are women who do choose this. It is therefore important to sleep no longer than 8 hours while wearing your tampon, before it must be changed, to prevent TSS.

You really can’t sleep with your tampon in?

If you actually only feel comfortable wearing a tampon at night, you may choose to continue doing so. It is safe to sleep with your tampon in, as long as you don’t sleep more than eight hours. Try to insert a new tampon before bedtime, and change it immediately when you wake up.

Tips for using and sleeping with tampon

If you definitely want to wear a tampon during your period at night, we recommend that you use the following guidance:

  • Use tampons only when you are menstruating. If you expecting to get your period, wait for the period to start before inserting a tampon. According to experts, this is to stop the tampon absorbing your vagina’s natural fluids.
  • In addition, use the right type of tampon. This depends on your blood loss. Do you bleed minimally? If so, use a less absorbent tampon. If you choose tampons that absorb extremely well during minimal bleeding you increase your chances of TSS. This is because the tampon then absorbs more liquids than it should.
  • Change the tampon on time. You can use most tampons for up to eight hours. Then remove it and immediately use a new one. Also, change the tampon regularly during the day. By not changing the product in time, you increase the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.
can you sleep with tampon in

What are good protection options for at night during your period?

Here are other options that are suitable for you to use instead of a tampon:

Night-time tamponThere are tampons designed specifically for the night. You should still change them regularly and not wear them for more than 8 hours.
Night-time sanitary padsSanitary pads designed specifically for night-time are often longer and offer extra absorbency. Therefore preventing leaks during your sleep.
Menstrual underwearMenstrual underwear contains absorbent layers that absorb large amounts of menstrual blood while you sleep.
Best sanitary protection for night-time

There are also still women who choose to use a combination of these products for extra protection. In addition, it is important to remember that not all options work equally well for all women. Try what suits you and find out which way best suits your needs and comfort.

Can you sleep with a menstrual cup?

Another good option to provide protection for sleeping during your period is the menstrual cup. You can wear this product for up to 12 hours, making them suitable for use while you sleep – and you are then not at risk of getting TSS, which is the case with a tampon.

If you want to sleep with a menstrual cup, read the following tips:

  • Empty the cup before bedtime: Make sure to empty the menstrual cup before bedtime to provide maximum capacity and prevent leakage.
  • Insert cup correctly: Make sure the menstrual cup is inserted correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Proper placement ensures a good seal and prevents leakage.
  • Check capacity: If your menstrual cup has a high capacity, you probably don’t need to worry about leaks during the night. But if your menstrual cup has a smaller capacity, you may need to check and empty more often, depending on your menstrual pattern.
  • Comfortable positioning: Some people find it more comfortable to insert the menstrual cup lower during the night. Experiment with the placement to see what is most comfortable for you.

Frequently asked questions about: Can you sleep with tampon in?

Although it is in principle possible to sleep with a tampon, it is not recommended. This is because you are at increased risk of getting TSS, or Toxic Shock Syndrome. Prevent this by changing your tampon for a new one at least every eight hours.

You can possibly sleep with a tampon in, although a few rules apply. It is important to insert it just before you go to bed. It is also essential not to wear the tampon for more than eight hours. If you stick to this guidance, it is possible to sleep with a tampon in.

Check if your tampon is full by gently pulling the cord. Is your tampon moving? If so, replace it. If the tampon stays in place and does not move at all, it does not need changing. The tampon is then not yet full and can therefore be used for a while longer.

Can you sleep with tampon in? Conclusion

You can sleep with a tampon in, but you should not wear a tampon for more than 8 hours before you need to change it. If you don’t change a tampon within 8 hours of using it, you run the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

There are a few products you can wear at night during your period that will prevent you from getting TSS. Consider a menstrual cup, for example, as well as menstrual underwear and overnight pads.