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How Often Should I Change Pads Or Tampons During My Menstrual Period?

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Updated December 16, 2009

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Question: How Often Should I Change Pads Or Tampons During My Menstrual Period?
Answer: During your periods, pads or sanitary napkins should be changed as often as necessary to prevent the pad from becoming soaked with menstrual flow. You will learn to know how long you feel comfortable before you change pads during your periods.

If you use tampons during your periods, make sure you change them at least every 4 to 8 hours to help prevent a rare but potentially fatal disease called toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

In addition, you should always use the lowest absorbency tampon necessary for the amount of menstrual flow you are experiencing on each day of your period. Using super-absorbency tampons on the lightest day of your period potentially puts you at risk for TSS. Those most at risk for TSS include women under thirty, particularly teenage girls.

Don't believe it if someone tells you that only certain types of tampons put you at risk for TSS. That just isn't true. It doesn't matter if the tampon is made of the purest cotton or of rayon -- all tampons could potentially put you at risk for toxic shock syndrome if not used properly.

Learn more about preventing TSS here: How To Reduce Your Risk Of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Source:

Menstruation and The Menstrual Cycle. NWHIC. http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/menstruation.cfm. Accessed 12/16/09.

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