So, let's start with, what is Toxic Shock Syndrome?
Anyone who uses tampons should be aware of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). About half of the
cases of TSS are related to tampons and, women who are on their period (are menstruating)
are more likely to get it. So, when it comes to the scientific explanation, Toxic shock
syndrome (TSS) is a rare but potentially life-threatening illness caused by the toxins created
by certain bacteria: Streptococcus Pyogenes and Staphylococcus Aureus. According to some
doctors, this bacterium normally lives on our skin without causing any harm. Still, when it
gets deeper into our body because of a cut or mucous membrane, it can cause some serious
infection or even death. The endotoxin produced by these bacteria affects blood vessels that
end up leaking out fluids in our body.
Due to highly absorbent tampons, these bacteria might enter the vagina and later enter the uterus. These bacteria may also grow on tampons if they are not changed often. Tampons
also cause some small cuts in the vagina through which these bacteria might enter your
bloodstream. Many grounds of this illness are still not understood.
What are the symptoms of this illness?
Symptoms of TSS tend to be sudden. These symptoms may vary from one person to another
and also from the type of bacteria which caused it.
The symptoms include:
• Peeling or rashes (These rashes are often confused with sunburns)
• Low blood pressure.
• A sudden high fever.
• Feeling dizzy and weak.
• Extreme body pains.
• Fast breathing.
• Mental confusion.
• Nausea, or vomiting
If you seem to have these sudden symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor immediately.
Maybe doing this could save your life.
How can toxic shock syndrome (TSS) be prevented?
• Avoid using tampons when you are not menstruating.
• If you are using tampons during menstrual periods, please make sure that you change them
every four to eight hours. If the flow is heavy, change them more often.
• Make sure that you wash your hands before using a tampon; unwashed hands are likely to
carry the bacteria.
• Avoid using super-absorbent tampons.
• Be gentle when inserting and removing tampons.
• If any woman had TSS in the past, she should talk to her doctor before resuming tampon use. If not careful, cured patients are also likely to get TSS back.
What worst could happen?
In many cases, people have lost their lives. Since these bacteria colonize and grow very fast,
affecting your lungs, heart, kidneys, and liver. In some cases, it has also caused several skins-
related problems. There's no doubt in the fact that this illness can be deadly. If TSS is left
uncured, it can be fatal.
Can Toxic Shock syndrome be treated?
Yes, this illness is curable. Unfortunately, TSS cannot be treated at home. Intense hospital
care is a must. However, with the help of heavy antibiotics and necessary medicines, which
will kill and stop the further spread of the bacteria, it can get cured. Some severe
complications of TSS, like shock, can also be treated with certain medicines and medical
Is Toxic Shock Syndrome caused only because of Tampons and only to women?
TSS can happen to anyone, including men, children, and also Postmenopausal women. Only
about 50% of TSS are tampon-related. TSS can also develop as a complication after a certain
surgical incision or even after childbirth, induced or spontaneous abortions. Also, in many
cases, people having chickenpox or even flu can get affected by TSS. Usage of menstrual
cups, contraceptive sponges, or diaphragms can also cause TSS.
A word from Those Archaic Flaws.
If you use tampons, menstrual cups, or contraceptive diaphragms, it's essential to use them
correctly. You should also understand the risk factor if one misuses these products; despite
the statistics of getting TSS is very spotty, it might occur. Keeping up with the quote, "Prevention is better than cure," one should take all the care and follow the preventive
measures to avoid getting TSS. And if you have any questions regarding the usage of tampons
and other menstrual supplies and contraceptives, you should contact your doctor.
Questions to be asked
In spite of this disease being so serious and deadly, why aren't people talking about it? Why
do most women (who are more prone to this illness) have no idea regarding this? Why isn't
enough awareness being spread about this topic? We are sure that most readers weren't
aware of TSS before reading this article. Neglecting such important issues is very wrong,
which can even lead to death if people remain unaware of the whole illness, and this clearly
shows us how the system is biased in showcasing women's problems. Many scientific reasons
are still not understood for Toxic Shock Syndrome; why are researchers not considering this
issue a prime concern and not finding solutions or facts related to it? Why are such issues
given less priority?
This has to be changed. What can we do? We can make people aware. Spreading such
articles to people will help them gain knowledge and also help them to take proper preventive
measures so that they won’t get this illness.