Monday, December 16, 2013

Ask Us Anything: Can Wearing Tampons Cause a UTI?

"Can wearing tampons cause a UTI?"

Beth Nicastro, Corporate Nurse Educator, Responds:

Wearing a tampon should not cause a urinary tract infection, also known as a UTI.

Women are more likely than men to get a UTI , since the urethra is shorter.

To prevent a UTI, you should:
  •  Void regularly, every 2-3 hours 
  •  Increase fluid intake of water and unsweetened cranberry juice 
  • Wipe from front to back after urination or defecation 
  • Wear underwear with a cotton crotch 
  • Avoid douches and powders 
  • Void after intercourse 
As for tampons, they should be changed every 4-8 hours. On the first days of your period, you may want to change them more often, since the menstrual flow can be heavier. Leaving a tampon in for a long period of time has been linked to Toxic Shock Syndrome, a rare, life-threatening complication of bacterial infection.

You may prefer to use just pads or a menstrual cup. A menstrual cup is made of plastic or rubber. They are inserted into the vagina and emptied every 8- 12 hours.

– Beth Nicastro, RN

Beth Nicastro, PNP-BC, is a women's health community coordinator/educator. She also sees patients as a nurse practitioner at East Aurora Pediatrics.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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