Women. We’re secretly a rather lax bunch.
Sure, as teens we all read those scary information brochures that said to never leave a tampon in for more than “three to four hours”, but we’re also human. And unless it’s day one to day three, we have better stuff to do. And sometimes, we forget. And others? We just can’t really… be… well, bothered.
‘I’m on Day Four,’ we silently tell ourselves mid-Netflix binge. ‘I’m barely even bleeding. It can wait.’
“Okay real talk, I regularly leave my tampon in for about eight hours,” one of the women I work with admitted this week.
“My record is 1o hours. If it’s late in the week, that is,” another added.
See? We’re lazy. And forgetful.
DON’T LIE. We’re all in this together. One big happy family, all joined by our shedding uterine walls. And between us, there are so many stories like this: “One time I forgot I had a tampon up there altogether. I found it a full week later during sex.”
Admittedly I haven’t been there. But also, this is a no judgement zone and you do you, lady.
But when we routinely surpass that strict four-hour time limit, there’s always that niggling voice in the back of our mind, whispering: ‘But what about Toxic Shock Syndrome?’
“I STRESS about TSS ALL the time,” one of my coworkers told me. “Like if I get a mild headache during my period I’m like OMG THIS IS IT.”
“I am so confused about TSS,” says another. “One article says I should be concerned and the other is like it doesn’t exist. Does it actually exist? HELP.”
Help I shall, reader friends. Help I shall.
We spoke to Dr Ginni Mansberg, a GP and television presenter, to dispel some of the myths about tampon usage. First of all – are we supposed to wake up during the night to change our tampon?
The short answer: “Hell no.”
“Eight hours is fine. If you only sleep for eight hours, you’re fine,” Dr Mansberg told Mamamia.
If you’re currently screaming BUT WHAT IF I DIE? Don’t worry, I hear you. I also don’t want you to die because of a freakin’ tampon. Oh, by the way, the chances are, “you” are either a person who was using tampons in the 1980s, or have a mother who was using tampons in the 1980s.