Do I need to change my tampon after using the bathroom?

Originally Published: September 3, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: February 24, 2012
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Hello Alice,

I've looked at your FAQ but I haven't found one like the one I have. When a woman uses a tampon, does she need to change it after she uses the bathroom? I would think that the string would get wet and could contribute to bacteria.

Thank you.

Dear Reader,

Whether or not you decide to change your tampon after you urinate is a personal choice. Urine itself is primarily salt water—unless you have some sort of infection in your bladder or urethra, urine should contain no bacteria. This explains why there have been no documented cases of infection from urinating while using a tampon. Moreover, having a tampon in shouldn’t make it difficult or painful to urinate.

Some women change their tampons before or after going to the bathroom, either because they are uncomfortable with the feeling of a wet string, or because they are concerned about odor. So here’s a quick fix for you: if you don’t want your string to get wet while you pee, just hold it to the side.

In the end, it's up to you. Do what makes you feel comfortable!

Alice

February 23, 2012

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When I have a tampon in place, I lay the excess string in the fold in-between the inner labia, and outer labia. It stays out of the way. It stays dry. And I have no trouble finding it when it's time...
When I have a tampon in place, I lay the excess string in the fold in-between the inner labia, and outer labia. It stays out of the way. It stays dry. And I have no trouble finding it when it's time to take it out.