Dolly Doctor

Why You Should Never Leave Your Tampon In For Too Long

We're all guilty of this.
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If you’re wearing the right size tampon, you’ll 3,000% forget it’s even there. That’s the beauty of them, right?

WATCH: Modibodi Period Underwear Ad Banned By Facebook. 

Absolutely, but we can guarantee you’ve definitely forgotten at one point that you’ve had that tampon in for god knows how long, had a mini heart attack and plummeted your way to the bathroom to er, fish it out real quick.

We know it’s hard, you could be settled into the couch watching Netflix when you remember that it’s time to change, but DO IT! IT’S NOT WORTH THE RISKS.

Dr Mary Jane Minkin, OB/GYN and professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at Yale University has answered the question of what happens when you leave a tampon in for far too long.

Tampons should be kept in for 4-8 hours. (Credit: Getty)


*”If a tampon is left in too long, the surrounding tissue can become very dry, which can lead to discomfort.”*

If the tampons are making your vaginal walls too dry, maybe it’s time to give her a break and use pads until the moisture is recovered.

TSS symptoms include a high fever, low blood pressure. (Credit: Getty)


Yes, TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) is real and oh so dangerous. It is potentially fatal, and it is caused by a buildup of bacteria from leaving in tampon for a prolonged period of time. TSS symptoms include a high fever, low blood pressure, and skin that looks like it has been burnt by boiling water. Get to a doctor ASAP if you see any of these symptoms.


Ah, the period smell. Sorry, it happens.

Sometimes, women leave a tampon in for tool long and need a doctor to remove it. Usually, they can tell what it is before you even explain it, just because of its smell, Mary explains.

It isn’t actually the blood that smells, but when it starts to interact with the bacteria in your body, that is when it develops its… scent. The longer a tampon is in, the smellier it can get.

Watery discharge may come out if you’e had the tampon in for more than 12 hours. (Credit: Getty)


Aside from leaking (if the tampon is ‘full’), some brown, watery discharge may come out if you’e had the tampon in for more than 12 hours.

The older the period blood is, the duller its colour becomes, explains Mary.


Yep, it is dangerous, but it’s also possible that it won’t affect you at all. But, it is highly recommended that you change your tampon ever 4-8 hours, to avoid any infection.

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