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What if I Forget to Change My Tampon?

Medically reviewed by: KidsHealth Medical Experts

What if I Forget About My Tampon?

At first, using a tampon might seem like a big deal. But once you get more comfortable with them, you might even forget you have one in.

But it can be a problem if you forget for too long. Tampons should be changed every 4–6 hours. If not, bacteria can grow and cause an infection. You also might notice an odor. Leaving a tampon in too long also increases your risk of a serious illness called toxic shock syndrome.

If you do forget about your tampon, remove it as soon as possible. One common mistake is to insert a new tampon without removing the old tampon. If that happens, remove both.

Toxic shock syndrome is rare, but be sure to tell a parent if you are feeling sick and you recently left a tampon inserted for too long.

Medically reviewed by: KidsHealth Medical Experts
Date reviewed: October 2023