Is it safe to sleep with a tampon in?

Teenage girl sleeping in bed

If pads aren’t really your thing, you may be wondering can you wear a tampon to bed – or maybe you fell asleep and forgot to take out your tampon and are panicking a little. Either way, you’re wondering whether or not you can sleep with a tampon in.

A tampon doesn’t know if you are asleep or not. Whether you can sleep with a tampon in revolves around one key question – are you going to sleep for more than eight hours?

Tampons shouldn’t be worn for longer than eight hours. This time limit is recommended because wearing the same tampon for a longer period will make you more likely to develop an irritation, or even an infection. Infections include the rare but serious Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). It is safe to sleep with a tampon in as long as it’s not for more than eight hours. So, if you can keep your night-time snooze to 8 hours or under, then you can wear a tampon overnight. This means you may want to avoid sleeping with a tampon in at the weekend or on holiday, and instead use a pad when it’s more likely that you’ll hit the snooze button and sleep in.

Can you wear a tampon to bed?

If you do choose to wear a tampon to bed, here are some tips on how to do it safely:

1. Put the tampon in just before you go to bed

If you’re planning to use a tampon at night, be sure to put it in right before you go to bed. If you put it in a few hours before bedtime, you’ll be unwittingly adding hours to your tampon wear that may push you over the 8-hour mark.

2. Choose the right absorbency for your flow

Then there’s the question of leakage. Many girls find that they need to change their tampon every 4-6 hours, especially on their heavy flow days. But you definitely should be sleeping for more than 4-6 hours. Because overnight is such an extended period of time, whether you can sleep with a tampon in or not depends on how familiar you are with your period. As you learn about your flow, you’ll figure out if you want to try a heavier absorbency for overnight wear.

3. Set an alarm

Not sure you’ll wake up after eight hours of overnight tampon wear? Set an alarm. This way you’ll be sure to wake up in time to change your tampon so that you stay within the 8-hour limit. If you tend to sleep through your alarm, you may want to skip the tampon and opt for a pad instead.

4. Wear a pantyliner for extra security

If you have an extra heavy flow, you may want to pair a tampon with a panty liner like ALWAYS Dailies Fresh & Protect for extra overnight protection.

5. Wear Tampax to ensure leak-free periods

If you’re a pro and know you won’t leak overnight, go ahead and just use a tampon on its own. Tampax are ideal for extended wear because they give you the freedom and confidence of having leak-free period nights. All in all, you can sleep with a tampon in, as long as you’re smart about it and remember to change it in time.

What if I accidentally wear my tampon for more than 8 hours?

Remove your tampon immediately Although TSS infection is extremely rare and not always associated with menstruation, watch out for these symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Sudden high fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle ache
  • Sunburn-like rash
  • Sore throat

Fainting/near fainting when standing

If you develop any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical help. Tell your doctor your symptoms, that you were using tampons and you think you may have TSS.