How often you should change your tampon?

Teenage girl riding a bike

Tampax tampons allow you to have a no-see, no-feel period – to the point you might even forget you are wearing one! Tampons allow you to do all of your favourite activities during your period, because your period shouldn’t stop you from being the best you that you can be. But do you ever wonder how often you should change your tampon when you’re on your period? Here’s the low-down on changing your tampon – how to do it and how often.

How often should I change my tampon?

In general, you should change your tampon every 4-6 hours, but you can safely leave a tampon in for up to eight hours. Using a tampon overnight is fine, but if you are sleeping for more than eight hours, you should use a pad instead. You’ll need to change your tampon more often when you have a heavy flow. The more you get used to your period, the better you’ll know when to change your tampon.

You should always use the lightest or lowest absorbency tampon for your menstrual flow. Because your flow changes from day to day, you’ll probably need to keep a number of different absorbencies to hand. For example, your flow tends to be heavier at the start of your period and lighter towards the end, so you may need to use Super absorbency for the first day or two before going down to Regular, and then Light as your period ends. If you change your tampon after six hours and there’s still a lot of white on it, this means that you should go down an absorbency level.

We recommend you start with using a regular absorbency tampon. If you find it is difficult to remove your tampon after 4-8 hours and there are still white parts on your tampon when you remove it, try switching to a lower absorbency. If you find you’re having to change it very frequently, try switching to a higher absorbency.

How do you know when to change your tampon?

Knowing how often you should change your tampon is important for preventing leaks. Knowing how often you should change your tampon is also important for taking precautions against an infection called toxic shock syndrome, or TSS. TSS is extremely rare but can be life-threatening. Even though it’s highly unlikely you’ll get TSS, it’s still important to take precautions against it. This means not leaving in your tampon for more than eight hours. Read more about TSS here.

As you get to know your flow, you’ll learn which days you tend to be heavier, and which days your flow is lighter. This means you can tailor which absorbency you use to your flow, and get a better idea of when your tampon is full or needs changing.

For first time tampon users, we recommend TAMPAX Pearl Compak. They have a rounded tip and grip marks on the applicator, making them super easy to insert. Please remember to dispose of your used tampons properly by throwing them in the bin – never flush your tampon down the toilet.

Now that you know how often you should change your tampon, you can have a fun, confident, worry-free period.

Check out Tampax’s new step-by-step guide to tampons and watch super helpful videos from a partnership with Tyla: