Reduce the risks of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)

Reduce the risks of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)

How to spot any early warning signs of TSS and how to reduce your risks of getting it

Toxic shock syndrome is a serious illness, associated with tampon use, which can occur anytime during menstruation or shortly thereafter. It’s caused by the toxins produced by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus present in the vagina.

The warning signs of TSS

  • A sudden high fever usually over 39 degrees C
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rash that looks like sunburn
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Fainting or near fainting when standing up
  • Skin peeling may occur in later stages of the illness

Not all of these symptoms may be present. If you have one or more of these symptoms, you must immediately remove the tampon and seek medical attention. Spotting TSS early and getting treatment is vital.

Ways to reduce the risks of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome)

Wash your hands

Remember to wash your hands before and after inserting and removing the tampon.

Consider alternating pads and tampons

Use a sanitary pad instead of a tampon at least once each day during your period and choose the tampon with the minimum absorbency required to meet your needs.

Choose your tampon carefully

Be sure to use the lowest absorbency tampon for your flow.


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Change your protection often

Change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours.

Always remove your used tampon before inserting a new one.

Be sure to remove your last tampon at the end of your period.

Tampons are designed to absorb menstrual flow only. Do not use a tampon in anticipation of your period or to absorb non-menstrual vaginal discharge.

Don’t use tampons

You can eliminate the risk of menstrual TSS by not using tampons. If you had toxic shock syndrome once you can get it again. You should talk to your doctor before using tampons if you have had symptoms of TSS in the past.

What to do at night

If you wish to use a tampon overnight, you may do so, provided that you insert a fresh one before retiring and remove it immediately upon waking. Never wear a tampon for more than 8 hours.

Let us know what you think

Have you got any experience of TSS? Maybe you’ve got a tip that might help other women?

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Good article. I will make sure I stay aware of these symptoms.

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Very interesting & always good to know. X

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