have been linked with toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a potentially
fatal infection. TSS has become rare lately because women are aware
of it, and take the necessary precautions. That means that you
need to be aware, too. By changing your tampon frequently (about
every four to eight hours), using the right absorbency for your
flow and by inserting tampons according to the directions on the
box, you can help to prevent TSS. TSS is a bacterial infection
where a strong strain of bacteria can grow in an old tampon and
then travel from your vagina into your bloodstream. The bacteria
will then release poisonous toxins that cause flu-like symptoms,
a rash, or possibly death. If you notice a rash during your period
or if you feel any persistent flu-like symptoms, contact your provider
to get tested for TSS. TSS is most common in women under the age
of 30. Approximately 1 to 17 women out of 100,000 develop TSS every
year in the US.
None of this means you need to stop using tampons altogether,
just be aware of the symptoms and be a conscientious tampon user.
If you want to know more about TSS, look in your tampon box. The
law requires all tampon boxes to include information on the rare
but serious infection.