(HealthDay News) -- Tampons -- cylindrical devices used to stem a woman's menstrual flow -- are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as medical devices.

The FDA offers these tips for safe tampon use:

  • Follow all directions on the product's label.
  • Wash hands before and after use.
  • Only use tampons during the menstrual period.
  • Change a tampon every 4-to-8 hours.
  • Use the lowest-absorbency tampon for your needs.
  • Beware of pain or any other unusual symptoms as a result of using a tampon. Toxic shock syndrome is a dangerous possible side effect of tampon use. It's symptoms typically include sudden fever, vomiting, diarrhea, feeling faint, dizziness or a sunburn-like rash.