ZocdocAnswersAre tampons as safe as pads?

Question

Are tampons as safe as pads?

Pads can't kill but tampons can. Should I just stick to pads?

Answer

Tampons have a historically bad reputation mostly because of their association with toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome is a condition that is caused when certain bacteria grow on the tampon while it is within the vagina and release toxins into the body which can cause rash, low blood pressure, fever, and other problems. Toxin shock syndrome is less and less likely these days than it was decades ago. This is because the FDA regulates tampons, and has removed the super absorbency types of tampons from use; these "overnight" forms of tampons where the forms that were most closely associated with toxic shock syndrome. In other words the risk these days is low. You can further reduce your risk of you make sure to change your tampon every 4 or 6 hours. You can also switch to pads overnight (don't leave tampons in overnight). As long as you follow these basic safety precautions, you should be able to continue to use tampons safely and without incident. As always if you have any more questions about this issue or any other general health issues, you can always talk to or have an appointment with either your primary care doctor or your OB GYN doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.