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Is it okay to wear a tampon to bed? This is what gynaecologists have to say

Tampons can do what sanitary pads cannot–stay in one place as toss and turn all night and prevent staining. But is sleeping with a tampon safe? Find the answer here
tampon slip out
Tampons can make handling your periods easy. But if you sleep with them, this is what you need to know. GIF courtesy: Giphy
Sonakshi Kohli Updated: 10 Dec 2019, 16:48 pm IST
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We really won’t blame you if you end up believing any Tom, Dick, Harry’s unsolicited advice on sensitive topics like menstruation. After all, when the mind and the body are busy dealing with discomfort, pain, and mood swings–there’s hardly any energy left to bust period myths.

Perhaps, it’s the same vulnerability that has led you to believe yet another notion: sleeping with a tampon inside you during your periods is a bad idea.

You already know how super-absorbent tampons when inserted inside the vagina can soak up period blood, thus preventing stains and helping you manage your periods better than sanitary napkins

Yet, people recommend ditching tampons–especially at night
Logically speaking, isn’t night time when you actually need protection against unwanted staining the most? So, why would you switch to a sanitary napkin or panty liner which can move leaving you vulnerable to period blotches on your sheets and mattress?

If you are inclined to say because “tampons can be toxic if worn for too long,” then let us straighten this out.

It’s safe to sleep with a tampon in–but conditions apply
“It is absolutely safe to sleep with a tampon, if the sleep time doesn’t exceed eight hours,” says Dr Nupur Gupta, director, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram.

sleeping with a tampon
As long as you don’t oversleep in them, you’ll be fine. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She also warns against using super-absorbent tampons as they create a breeding ground for bacteria.

Are there any complications?
Unfortunately, there is. If left inside for too long–in case you oversleep or forget to change the tampon as soon as you wake up–you could be inviting a lot of trouble like:

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Toxic shock syndrome: “If tampons are left inside the vagina for a long time, it may encourage the growth of bacteria and increase the risk of developing the deadly toxic shock syndrome. This occurs when a bacterium comes into contact with the bloodstream,” warns Dr Nisha Jain, gynaecologist at Saroj Super Speciality Hospital.

Vaginal abrasions: She also mentions how tampons left inside for too long can stick to the walls of the vagina and cause abrasions—especially during removal.

Vaginitis: Needless to say, the bacterial growth resulting from leaving the tampon inside the vagina for too long can give rise to several vaginal infections, including itchy and painful vaginitis.

Also Read: I tried the menstrual cup & these are the struggles I wish someone had prepared me for

The verdict?
Ladies, as long as you change your tampon within eight hours–you’ll be fine. So go forth and get cozy with that tampon–and save your sheets from staining.

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