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jessifer1212's avatar

Why shouldn't you use tampons when you aren't on your period?

Asked by jessifer1212 (491points) December 15th, 2010

The box says you shouldn’t use tampons when you aren’t on your period; is there a reason for that aside from the fact that you don’t actually need them?

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21 Answers

JustJessica's avatar

I think not bleeding is a pretty good reason to not wear a tampon. I guess the question is why would you wear a tampon while not on your period?!

Seaofclouds's avatar

Because of the risk of toxic shock syndrome. Tampons should be used as little as possible. Not to mention you would end up drying out a normally moist area which could cause a lot of irritation.

iamthemob's avatar

What @Seaofclouds said. You can actually go septic blocking your flow in such a manner.

chyna's avatar

Who wants to walk around with tampons up them any more than they have to? Also, more chance for toxic shock syndrom I would guess.

Edit: Oops, didn’t read the other answers first.

akashadeo's avatar

Aye aye to @seaofclouds. You don’t want to risk TSS by wearing tampons unnecessarily.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Toxic shock is correct, especially with the high absorbency ones. Yes,I read an article in an Abby column.

Trillian's avatar

Do you need a reason in addition to the fact that you don’t need them?

JLeslie's avatar

You can. Who told you you can’t? But, if you feel you need to because you are having bad or unusual discharge you should see a doctor to get screened for a possible STD. You should not feel the need to use tampons off of your period.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Trillian College girls are going commando all the time.

Seelix's avatar

I’ve read that the risk of toxic shock is actually very low. There was a particular brand of tampon (which is no longer on the market) which was associated with TSS, and so now all tampons are packaged with a warning. But if you use tampons like you’re supposed to (i.e. following the instructions, not leaving them in for any longer than 8 hours) it’s really a minimal risk.

Okay, this is where things might get a little detailed: For those of you who use tampons, have you ever put one in / taken one out toward the end of your period, where things are a little, ahem, drier down there? If you use a tampon when you’re not on your period, you might not be lubricated enough, meaning that putting it in and taking it out could be painful.

If it’s an issue of going commando, you can actually buy self-adhesive pads that stick to the crotch of your pants to keep any discharge at bay.

noname50's avatar

Toxic Shock is the primary reason. As also indicated, you should use the least absorbency needed, i.e., don’t use super if you have a light or very light flow. Even during your period, you must be mindful of tampon use, ensuring that they are changed every 4–6 hours. I remember back in high school when the Rely tampon, (had to look that name up), came out. They were indeed really good, but I guess as it turns out, a bit too good!!! As some have mentioned, you still have to be mindful of your body’s natural abilities and needs. Even during your period, if not changed frequently enough, a tampon can be a catalyst for serious and sometimes deadly bacteria.

Trillian's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Huh? No panties? We were talking about tampons.
I swear, you kids with your baggy pants and your rap music and your frosted lipstick….
@Seelix those were OB Rely (Thanks @JLeslie) tampons and they were great so of course they had to cause something hideous and get yanked off the market.

JLeslie's avatar

Rely was made out of materials that are not used in other tampons increasing the risk of TSS, it was not simply because it absorbed more. Although, drying out the vagina and then pulling out the tampon or inserting a new one can cause small tears, and theoretically a pathway for infection to enter those tissues. One of my very close friends got TSS from a contraceptive sponge. Meanwhile, I think tampons are on of the greatest inventions ever. The risk of TSS when used properly is very low, but if you suffer any accute symptoms associated with TSS while using tampons rush to the hospital, and tell the staff immediately what you suspect. That is the only reason my girlfriend is still alive. I cannot see any reason TSS would be more of a risk when off your period than when you have it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t think that it’s necessarily any more of a risk when you aren’t on your period, just that tampons should be used as little as possible and only when absolutely necessary to reduce the risk of TSS from using them. I would guess that if you (general you) don’t need them, they you probably aren’t as likely to change them as often (since you wouldn’t be worried about them leaking) and therefore it could increase the risk of TSS from the duration of leaving them in. Plus, as you mentioned, you could cause little tears in the vaginal wall if it’s dried out while taking a tampon out and putting a new one in, which would increase the chances of any bacteria (not just something related to TSS) getting into your system.

Not to mention that a tampon could act as a ladder of sorts for any bacteria to get from the external portion of your body (if it’s one with a sting) to up inside your vagina, and possibly to your cervix (depending on how far you insert the tampon) when left in for extended periods of time, the same way a catheter can help bacteria get straight to a person’s bladder.

JLeslie's avatar

@Seaofclouds Who said I don’t need them. I said I think they are onE of the best invention in the last 100 years. My period lasts SEVEN long days. I am 42 years old, and it has been like that since my 3rd or 4th period. That means I have my period a full week every three weeks basically, from the time it finishes to when it starts again. Thank God for tampons. True I guess every time someone is using a tampon there is more risk of TSS than if they are using nothing, but I bet the risk is miniscule. I need to look up the stats.

JLeslie's avatar

Seems there was a study done in 2004 saying 3 to 4 tampon users out of 100,000 develop TSS. That is actually higher than I expected. It does not say if the women were out of compliance with recommendations. That is one of the tricky things about these stats. Half of the women who got sick might have left the tampon in for 15 hours +. It is so easy to forget you have a tampon in, I forget all of the time.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JLeslie I wasn’t saying you didn’t need them, the OP said in her details “when you aren’t on your period” and that is what I was referring to. When I was saying about not needing them, I specifically said “general you” and not you personally.

janbb's avatar

(Menopause is a wonderful thing. Just sayin’)

deni's avatar

uh. when i take a tampon out and i haven’t bled much, it does not feel good. it’s dry and semi uncomfortable…i wouldn’t want to feel that if i didn’t have to.

casheroo's avatar

@deni Gah, I hate that feeling!
I wouldn’t wear one because it’s uncomfortable. End of story.

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