Illustration of a uterus and tampons on a turquoise background - Libresse

With a bit of practise, you’ll soon get the hang of using tampons.

But there are a few things to be mindful of in order to use them properly and stay healthy.

Don’t wear it for more than four hours

How long you keep a tampon in depends on your flow. A tampon will absorb the blood in your vagina and when it’s ‘full’, it needs to be removed. Changing your tampon roughly every four hours is ideal. But if you have a heavy flow, you’ll need to change it more frequently, or choose a tampon with a higher absorbency. If your tampon feels a bit stuck when you pull on the string and comes out ‘dry’ after four hours, you probably need a lower absorbency. If you notice the string of your tampon is stained and wet, you’ve left it in a bit too long.

You can wear a tampon at night

The longest you can keep a tampon in is eight hours. So this means you can wear a tampon at night, as long as you get up eight hours later to change it. You might find it easier to wear a sanitary pad at night if you’re a late sleeper.

Never wear more than two tampons at once

You should never wear more than one tampon at a time. Doubling up on tampons increases your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS. If your flow is very heavy, wear a tampon with a higher absorbency and change it more frequently. Or use a sanitary pad as extra back up. And if you forget you already have a tampon in and then use another one? Then you’ll soon notice an unpleasant smell, caused by the bacteria building up around the one that’s been in there the longest. Take both tampons out as soon as possible. You may also experience a rash and change in discharge, in which case you’ll need to see your doctor. And if the first tampon seems to be stuck in there, your doctor can remove it.

You can’t keep your tampon in during sex

Wearing a tampon during sex is a big no-no. It could push the tampon further up your vagina and cause a great deal of discomfort. And in the worst case scenario, if it gets stuck, it could lead to infection. So while it’s fine to have sex during your period if both you and your partner are happy to do so, you have to take your tampon out beforehand.

You can pee when you have a tampon in

Peeing with a tampon in isn’t a problem. Your pee comes from your urethra, which is a small hole in front of your vagina. So peeing won’t soak your tampon. You may want to move the string to one side while doing so and then it won’t get wet.

Illustration to show a tampon absorbing water - Libresse

If your tampon is dry after four hours, you need a lower absorbency.

Illustration to show you only need one tampon at one time - Libresse

Doubling up on tampons increases your risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS.

Illustration of an infection on a pink background - Libresse

Wearing a tampon during sex can lead to discomfort.

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