Dolly Doctor

Dolly Doctor: Can Tampons Really Make You Sick? Your Questions Answered

Everything you need to know if you're feeling a little off after using a tampon.
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When you first get your period, tampons can be a daunting prospect – that’s why many women use pads to start with. 

But tampons are a normal, regular part of any women’s cycle, which is why we want to help you feel more comfortable about using them. 

Watch: Emma Chamberlain on how to still look cute & be comfy while on your period

One of the most commonly asked questions about tampon use is this: Can tampons make you sick? 

There are of course many instances where you might feel a little off after inserting a tampon

Perhaps it feels super uncomfortable, or maybe your tummy feels a bit upset. 

To break it all down for you, Dolly Doctor gave us the 411. Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about why you might be feeling sick after using a tampon. 

You’re not alone if you feel unwell after using a tampon – but that doesn’t mean tampons aren’t for you. (Getty)

Let’s just briefly reiterate the fact that if you’re worried or feeling uncomfortable about tampon use – you’re absolutely not alone! 

It can take a little while to get used to using them, but when you do, trust us when we say it’ll make your periods a lot easier to deal with. Everyone has different flows and routines as to how they deal with their periods – but we’re here to help make the experience as manageable as possible for you. 

Now, to put it simply, if you’re feeling any discomfort or pain from a tampon, that usually means it’s not inserted properly.

This is a common experience when first starting to use tampons.

Another possibility is that you may also have a sensitive cervix – when the tampon touches your cervix you could be getting pain and nausea. 

Of course, this could be worse at the time of your period because of the hormones that are released, so some period pain tablets might also help.

Pain can be worse at the time of your period due to the hormones that are released. (Getty)


When you insert a tampon, you should aim it back towards your spine and it should go all the way up until it can’t go any further. Once it’s in properly you shouldn’t feel it at all.

Make sure you hold the string and leave it dangling down so you can pull the tampon out easily.

It may be easier to practice with mini tampons first. And when you feel comfortable with them, try with regular tampons.


Toxic shock syndrome is extremely rare, but it pays to be aware of the symptoms and use tampons correctly to avoid it. 

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening infection caused by bacteria found in the nose, armpit, on the skin and in the vagina.

The bacteria can cause a toxin to go through the body causing sudden high fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, muscle aches, fainting and can be fatal.

While it is very rare, wearing a tampon for too long is often pointed at as being the cause of the illness.

“The link between Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and tampons was really related to a type of super absorbent tampon that was invented in the 80s and since hasn’t been on the market,” our Dolly Doctor tells us.

“[But] tampons are hardly ever a factor [and] one of the greatest myths girls are told is that they cannot wear a tampon to bed. Tampons can be safely worn for up to 8 hours overnight which helps leakage and provides you with extra comfort.”

Have a question for Dolly Doctor? Drop us an email –

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