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Ob-Gyns Recommend Always Changing Your Tampon After Swimming



A tampon is a great choice during the summer months when you’re on your period and want to enjoy a swim without worrying about any blood in the water or a wet pad. However, the absorbency of a tampon can pose a potential risk after swimming. Water can wick up into the vagina, causing extra moisture that can lead to irritation or infection if the tampon is not changed promptly. Leaving a wet tampon in for too long raises the risk of toxic shock syndrome, a serious condition caused by bacteria releasing toxins into the bloodstream.

Leaving anything wet hanging around your vulva is not ideal, as it creates an ideal environment for microorganisms like bacteria to multiply. The moisture from the absorbed water, period blood, and body temperature makes the area warm and prone to infection if the tampon is not changed within four to eight hours. Swimming only adds to the moisture, creating a damp environment that is perfect for bacteria and yeast to thrive. It is recommended to change your tampon within an hour of swimming to prevent irritation or infection.

The risks associated with swimming on your period are not due to pathogens in the water but rather the moist environment created by a wet tampon. Water moving up into the vagina via the tampon can introduce bacteria, salt, or chlorine, depending on the type of water you’re swimming in. Your vagina is absorbent, so soaking up these substances could lead to a rash or irritation. However, research has not shown that wet tampons from different bodies of water pose different risks. It is crucial to change your tampon promptly after swimming to prevent any potential issues.

When it comes to the risks associated with swimming on your period, it’s essential to understand that the concern is mainly about the microorganisms already present in your body multiplying in the moist environment created by a wet tampon. Being proactive and changing your tampon within an hour of swimming can help reduce the risk of irritation or infection. Remember to also change out of your wet swimsuit to further minimize the chances of any issues. Overall, staying vigilant about changing your tampon regularly and taking precautions after swimming can help you enjoy the summer months without any unwanted complications.

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