It's SO important to know about Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and how to avoid it, especially when it comes to managing your period.

TSS is a potentially life-threatening condition that can arise from having a tampon in for too long. It's caused by toxins built up by a certain type of bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, which can breed in warm, moist and under pressure environments, like a forgotten tampon.

Using highly absorbent tampons is the most common risk factor for TSS. The longer you wear a tampon and the higher the absorbency, the higher the risk. That's why it's important to use the lowest absorbency tampon needed for your flow, and to change it out every four hours. Plus, you don't want to wear a tampon overnight. Instead, use a pad or period underwear.

TSS symptoms include a sudden high fever, chills, body aches, nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, a rash resembling a bad sunburn or red dots on your skin, dizziness, light-headedness, fainting, and low blood pressure. If you experience these symptoms after using tampons, remove it immediately and seek medical help. Symptoms can progress quickly, and immediate treatment is necessary. Shock, organ failure, amputation of limbs, and even death can occur if TSS is left untreated.

To avoid TSS, be aware of potential risk factors and take proactive steps to protect yourself. Don't sleep with a tampon in, change tampons regularly, use the lowest absorbency tampon that fits your needs, and wear period underwear at night. By taking these precautions, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing TSS.

Stay safe, ladies!

May 12, 2023 — Lucy Wright