Just the sound of this potent term unnerves many women, but this disease – although extremely serious – is fortunately extremely rare.
Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a life-threatening infection that is most often associated with the use of tampons and, in some cases, diaphragms and contractive sponges. However, it can also be triggered by other events (e.g. childbirth, surgery), injuries or certain illnesses.
WHO IS AT RISK of Toxic Shock Syndrome?
Women using tampons and/or barrier contraceptive devices (e.g. diaphragms). The risk increases if used during the first 12 weeks after childbirth.
Those with an undeveloped or weakened immune system (e.g. children, cancer patients) those who have undergone surgery, including those who have developed infections from deep wounds or other ruptures of the skin.
THE BEST WAY TO REDUCE ANY RISK when using tampons is to:
Follow package directions for insertion – Moxie has made this simple and clear for you. Email Moxie if you have any queries.
Choose the lowest absorbency for your flow – MINI for light flow, REGULAR for medium flow and SUPER for heavy flow. Change these variants through the course of your period. As flow reduces toward the end, you can adjust to a more appropriate tampon.
Change your tampon at least every 4 to 8 hours.
Consider alternating pads with tampons.
Avoid tampon usage overnight when sleeping
Know the warning signs of toxic shock syndrome – we’ve outlined these below for you.
Don’t use tampons in between periods. This is never necessary and can cause vaginal dryness and ulcerations, and disturb the normal balance of moisture and secretions in the vagina.
THE SYMPTONS of Toxic Shock Syndrome develop suddenly.
They may include:
Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
A rash resembling sunburn, and one or two weeks later, a flaking rash on palms or soles of feet
Muscle aches and joint pain
Redness of the eyes, mouth and/or throat
Seizures or fainting
Headaches or dizziness
Low blood pressure
If left untreated, TSS can put people at risk of organ failure, shock or death. If you suspect Toxic Shock, remove your tampon immediately, and call for medical help.