The world of periods can be a pretty daunting place, so it’s no surprise that there are a heap of Google enquiries about all the things that can go wrong with them. The biggest question mark, however, sits around whether or not you can sleep with a tampon in.
Tampons were developed to work as a sort of plug for periods, so you can hold everything up there in situ for a while until you need to yank it out and replace it with another tampon. While this may seem like a great solution for overnight period protection, there’s a lot of risk involved with wearing a tampon while you sleep.
Ha T. Nguyen, M.D., obstetrician and gynecologist with McGovern Medical School at UT Health and UT Physicians in Houston, says, “We know that the longer [a tampon] is in place without being changed, the higher the risk for toxic shock syndrome (TSS) to develop”.
TSS is a bacterial infection caused by the staph bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This syndrome, while rare, can lead to death and limb loss – so it shouldn’t be ignored.
So how do you sleep with a tampon in without the risk of getting TSS? Well, the only way to go about it is to make sure you never have a tampon in for over eight hours. That means if you know that you’re going to sleep at 11pm and aren’t going to get up ‘til 9:30am, you shouldn’t wear a tampon. It’s just too risky.
But what’s the alternative? Well there are more than just tampons available to help you manage your period. A great, TSS-risk-free option is period underwear. There’s no time-limit for wearing period panties, and they are designed to wick away moisture from the body and dry quickly, so you can sleep the whole night through feeling dry, fresh and without any concern about TSS.
Want to know what period underwear really looks like? Take a look at these styles available now from RED by Modibodi.