What Is TSS (Or Toxic Shock Syndrome)?
Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare, but potentially serious disease that is associated with tampon use. It’s believed to be caused by toxin-producing strains of the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium.
What Causes TSS?
The bacterium that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome is commonly found on the skin, in the nose, armpit, groin or vagina. But in a very small number of people, certain strains of this organism produce a toxin that can cause TSS. Most people have antibodies in their bloodstream to protect them from these toxins.
Are Tampons Going To Give Me TSS?
Tampon research shows that the risk of tampon-related Toxic Shock Syndrome is associated with absorbency: the higher the absorbency the higher the risk; the lower the absorbency the lower the risk. Just make sure you’re using the lowest absorbency necessary for your flow. Also remember to remove your tampon within 8 hours, and you should be in the clear.
What Are The Symptoms Of TSS?
Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome can feel a lot like the flu. If you start feeling sick, remove your tampon ASAP and make sure you get to a doctor and tell them you think you might have TSS.
Toxic Shock Syndrome symptoms are:
- Sudden high temperature (102 degrees F/38.9 degrees C or higher)
- Sunburn-like rash
- Muscle aches
- Fainting or feeling faint when standing up
Can Anyone Get TSS?
Unfortunately, yes. Toxic Shock Syndrome can affect men, women, children, anyone. Sometimes TSS comes from infections following insect bites, burns or surgery. To give you an idea, only about half of Toxic Shock Syndrome cases are from women using tampons.
Is TSS Contagious?
Nope. You can’t catch Toxic Shock Syndrome from anyone else.
Is It Possible To Get TSS More Than Once?
Unfortunately, yes. And if you’ve had Toxic Shock Syndrome in the past, you should consult your doctor before trying tampons.
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