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Toxic Shock Syndrome
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Tampons 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.