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Why Being Uneducated About Tampon Use Can Put Your Health in Jeopardy

Real talk: Choosing, and sometimes using, feminine hygiene products can be a confusing and often times laborious task, especially when it comes to tampons. Sure, you may be an old pro at these ‘time of the month’ lifesavers, but even we were surprised to find out that there is a lot—and we mean A LOT—of conflicting information out there!

We had always been told that a tampon can be safely used for up to 8 hours, but, as it turns out, there are different schools of thought on this.

As many veteran tampon users know, the main reason why tampons come with ‘time limits’, for lack of a better term, is because they have been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, a rare, but sometimes deadly bacterial infection.

Although not all cases of TSS in tampon users can be entirely blamed on the patient’s usage of the feminine product, decades of research have found that leaving tampons in for a prolonged time—in particular, ones that are of a higher absorbency than the flow requires—can lead to this condition.

While we can all agree that TSS is a very real, and very scary, thing, our research shows us that the tampon ‘time limit’ is not something that is universally agreed upon. For instance, one of the largest, and potentially best-known, tampon manufacturers in the U.S., Tampax, plainly says on its site that the products can be left in for up to 8 hours.

woman holds a tamponWikipedia Commons

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