Should you change your tampon every time you pee?

Some of us have had our periods for decades, but are still mystified about what’s going on down there and why. In the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk,” we ask gynecologists our biggest questions about all things period-related and finally get the answers to what is really going on . . . because everyone should be up-to-date on that time of the month! Our next question is all about tampons and, you know, toilet stuff.

Should you change your tampon every time you pee? It seems kinda unhygienic to have pee on the string.

Anyone who wears tampons (and that’s a lot of us) knows that more often than not, the string gets in the way when we pee (ick). We know that tampons and urine are in different holes, but is it unhygienic to keeping wearing it? Are you supposed to change your tampon every time you pee? What bad news that would be for those of us with tiny bladders.


Short answer? No, but you should be changing your tampon every four to eight hours. “You should change tampons around every four to eight hours, not necessarily every time you go to the bathroom – -however, this is a personal preference,” Dr. Tara Harris, an OB/GYN at Baylor Obstetrics and Gynecology at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women in Houston, told HelloGiggles. “Never leave a tampon in longer than 8 hours due to the risk of toxic shock syndrome.”

In other words, if you tend to pee every four or so hours, go ahead and change your tampon if you like. However, it doesn’t have to do with the fact that you peed — just that you shouldn’t keep your tampon in for *too* long. That said, if you change your tampon too often, it could cause other issues, according to board-certified gynecologist Dr. Felice Gersh of Integrative Medical Group of Irvine in California. “If you go to the bathroom every hour or two, it may cause irritation to change your tampon every time, since it may still be dry,” she told HelloGiggles.

So, yeah, it can be weird to pee with a tampon in — but it’s not dangerous!


Read more from the HelloGiggles series “Period Talk”: