Tampons can lead to infections and rarely toxic shock syndrome  TSS when left in for a long time. TSS is the overgrowth of a  bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus.  It is important to change your tampons at least every 3 to 4 hours. Leaving your tampons in longer than 8 to 12 hours can increase your risk for infections and possibly TSS.



If a woman believes she’s left a tampon in for too long or cant find it, she should do a self exam to see if the tampon may be lost in the vagina.  If she’s an unable to find it but experiences vaginal discharge or strange vagina odor, she needs to seek medical help immediately.

People get worried about tampons causing TSS but this is extremely rare.  The most important message here is not to leave tampons in for a long time.  If you don’t feel right, look out for the symptoms of TSS .


Symptoms of TSS

Initial symptoms of TSS include the following :

  • Vomiting
  • Fever of  102° or higher
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Watery diarrhea
  • Aching muscles

Symptoms within 24 hours

  • Sunburn-like rash
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Redness under the eyes, inside the mouth and in the vagina

Symptoms in 3 to 4 days

  • Broken blood vessels may appear on the skin

Other possible signs

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Decreased urine output
  • Weak , rapid pulse
  • Pale complexion
  • Rapid breathing
  • Cool moist skin
  • Weakness
  • Extreme thirst


If you have your period and dont feel well, there is no need to panic.  If you have a tampon in and vomiting, you don’t have to be alarmed. Some women get sick during their period. However if you have a tampon in and feel very sick and you notice a rash, you need to go to the ER immediately.



Content Sources
Tampon safety and toxic shock syndrome. American Academy of Pediatrics. https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/teen/Pages/Tampon-Safety-and-Toxic-Shock-Syndrome.aspx. Accessed April 19th, 2018

Toxic shock syndrome, infections: What if I leave a tampon in for too long? USA Today . https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/06/03/what-if-leave-tampon-too-long/342305001/. Accessed April 19th, 2018

Use tampons ? Don’t worry out toxic shock syndrome. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2017/12/22/health/toxic-shock-syndrome-partner/index.html. Accessed April 19th, 2018

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