Toxic Shock…Should I Be Worry?

Have you ever been sitting in the bathroom, forgot to bring your phone, so you start reading the boxes in your bathroom? I know I do and that’s when I first learned about Toxic Shock Syndrome.

Now don’t be alarm, I learned about it in Health Class but they did a overview and just went on. So what is Toxic Shock Syndrome? Toxic Shock Syndrome is a sudden, potentially fatal condition caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, or staph which is found in many women’s bodies. TSS affects menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons.

This disease made headlines in the 1970s and early 1980s after the deaths of young women who were using a super-absorbent tampon that was later removed from the market.

Toxic shock syndrome is still mostly a disease of menstruating women who use tampons but, it has also been linked to the use of menstrual sponges, diaphragms, and cervical caps. A woman who has recently given birth also has a higher chance of getting toxic shock.

People who die from toxic shock are killed by the body’s response to the toxins released by staph bacteria. Most people suffer hypotensive shock, in which the heart and lungs stop working.

More than a third of all cases of toxic shock involve women under 19, and up to 30% of women who have had the disease will get it again. If you have ever had toxic shock, you must look out for the symptoms so you can get immediate medical care.

If you are menstruating and have a fever with nausea and vomiting, especially if you have been using tampons, you must get medical help right away. If you are using a tampon when you become ill, remove it immediately, even before calling your doctor.

The simplest way to avoid TSS is not to stop using tampons, but simply to use them Avoid super-high-absorbency tampons if possible, and use the lowest absorbency that meets your needs. Make sure you change your tampon every four to eight hours at a minimum and try to give your body a break. The same goes for any item that remains in the vagina for a significant period of time, so menstrual cups aren’t exempt.

Especially on lighter days, using a pad at night instead of a tampon, so you’re not constantly inserting one after another for your entire period, but I don’t think we should be afraid to use tampons, especially if it’s their preferred method of dealing with their period.

Remember always bring any health concerns up with your doctor and keep an eye on your body. No one knows your body as you do.