1. The first time you saw a speculum, your heart may have leapt out of your chest.
2. You heard one horror story about toxic shock syndrome (TSS) as a teen and you were never able to get it out of your head.
Don’t worry, gynecologists say it’s safe to sleep with a tampon in overnight — just use the least absorbent tampon you can, and don’t forget about it.
Plus, TSS is actually very rare (when it was most prevalent, in 1980, the rate was 6-12 per 100,000 menstruating women, but by 1986 it dropped to 1 in 100,000 menstruating women). Still, it’s a life-threatening complication of a bacterial infection (usually Staphylococcus aureus or group A streptococcus) with symptoms like a high fever, vomiting, and a rash — so it makes sense to be terrified of it.