If you wear a tampon you may be aware of the side affects known as “Toxic Shock Syndrome” (TSS) that could affect you, but do you know the symptoms?
The National Tampon Alert Week theme this year is ‘Toxic Shock” and is all about raising your awareness to the condition.
So what causes toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
The cause is bacteria that can live on the skin of men and women with over half of reported cases being related to women’s use of tampons.
Toxic Shock Syndrome develops when the common bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, produce a toxin which is absorbed into the bloodstream. The toxin rapidly overwhelms the immune system and attacks the major organs, leading to kidney failure, collapse of the lungs and in severe cases, cardiac arrest. Alarmingly, half of all known cases of Toxic Shock are women using TAMPONS.
The best way to avoid TSS is to not use a tampon overnight if you’re likely to sleep more than 8 hours. You should also always use the lowest absorbency for your flow and wash your hands before and after inserting your tampon.
But how do you know if you have got it?
- Always begin AFTER a period starts.
- Early symptoms may include headache, and/or sore throat, aching muscles and high temperature.
- Followed by vomiting, watery diarrhoea, a red rash, confusion and dizziness and very low blood pressure.
Only one or two symptoms may occur. They do not necessarily occur all at once and may not persist.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
- Remove the tampon (save it if possible).
- Seek IMMEDIATE medical attention.
- Inform the doctor that you have been usingTAMPONS.
- Take a TSS information leaflet with you.
QUICK ACTION MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE
Of course the only way to completely avoid TSS is to not wear tampons at all – but of course this isn’t practical for every woman.
If you want to find about safer tampon alternatives, visit the National Tampon Alert Day website.