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5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Period

Even well-informed women have questions about their menstrual cycle. Here are answers to the most common questions encountered by gynecologists.

5. If I leave in a tampon too long, am I at risk for toxic shock syndrome? continued...

On the web site of one popular tampon brand, for instance, it recommends changing the tampon at least every four to eight hours.

Know that the condition is rare. In the U.S., about one or two of every 100,000 women ages 15 to 44 get toxic shock syndrome annually, according to the CDC.

Many experts say they have never seen a case since they have been in practice. "Toxic shock is something everyone learns about in medical school," Defoe says. But Defoe says she has yet to see a case.

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Reviewed on February 23, 2009

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