Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)
- 6 Months ago
This is caused by a toxin that is produced by certain strains of the bacterium Staphylococcus. In the past, TSS has been associated with the use of superabsorbent tampons and sometimes, with the use of contraceptive sponges. It can also occur with skin infections, burns, and after surgery.
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) can affect children, postmenopausal women, and men. Researchers believe that when superabsorbent tampons are left in for a long time, the tampons may become a breeding ground for bacteria. Others have suggested that the fibers of the tampons may scratch the surface of the vagina allowing toxins or bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
The symptoms associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome include:
- Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
- Sudden high fever
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle aches and confusion
- Rashes resembling a sunburn, mostly on palms and soles
- Redness in the eyes, mouth, and throat
- Headaches and seizures
Sadly, no single test can diagnose Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Menstrual TSS can be prevented by changing tampons often, in about every four to eight hours. Also, consider the lowest absorbency tampon and alternate using tampons with sanitary napkins whenever you can. Avoid using tampons when the flow is very light and use mini pads instead. If you have ever had TSS or a Staph infection, don't use tampons at all! TSS is a medical emergency and one should see the doctor as soon as possible. If left untreated, the combination of shock and organ damage can result in death.
Seek medical assistance if you experience any signs or symptoms of TSS!