What toxic shock syndrome in tampons? (2023)

Asked by: Mrs. Halie West

Score: 4.1/5 (39 votes)

Toxic shock syndrome is a sudden, potentially fatal condition. It's caused by the release of toxins from an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, which is found in many women's bodies. Toxic shock syndrome affects menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons.

How long does it take to get toxic shock syndrome from a tampon?

In general, TSS symptoms can develop as soon as 12 hours after a surgical procedure. Symptoms usually develop in 3 to 5 days in women who are menstruating and using tampons. If you experience the above symptoms after using tampons or after a surgery or skin injury, contact your health care provider immediately.

How does tampons cause toxic shock syndrome?

Tampons can increase the risk of TSS in two ways, including: Tampons (especially super-absorbent varieties) that are left in the vagina for a long time may encourage the bacteria to grow. Tampons can stick to the vaginal walls, especially when blood flow is light, causing tiny abrasions when they are removed.

What are the symptoms of toxic shock from tampons?

Possible signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:

  • A sudden high fever.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles.
  • Confusion.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat.
  • Seizures.

What tampons are most likely to cause TSS?

Super-absorbent tampons are more likely to cause toxic shock syndrome because they become highly saturated with blood, making it an ideal environment for rapid growth of bacteria.

40 related questions found

(Video) Toxic Shock Syndrome: Way Beyond Tampons

Can TSS go away on its own?

TSS is a medical emergency. So it's important to know how to prevent it and what signs to watch for. With prompt treatment, it's usually cured.

Can you get toxic shock after tampon is removed?

If you use tampons, use the lowest absorbency possible for your flow. The bacteria that cause TSS are sometimes introduced into the bloodstream through tiny moisture droplets in the vagina caused by removing tampons that are too dry.

Is it OK to sleep with a tampon?

Most people will be fine if they sleep while wearing a tampon, but if you sleep for longer than eight hours, you could be at risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This is a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires urgent medical attention.

How likely is it to get TSS from tampons?

In the U.S., TSS is estimated to affect 3-6 people per 100,000 per year,” said Erin Clark, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist with University of Utah Health. “The National Organization for Rare Disorders estimates that TSS related to tampon use occurs in about 1 in 100,000 menstruating women.”

What happens if you leave a tampon in for 2 weeks?

Leaving a tampon in for too long can lead to infections and rarely cause life-threatening toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is typically caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Each year toxic shock syndrome affects about 1 in 100,000 women.

Why is my tampon filled with clear liquid?

It's caused by hormonal changes. If the discharge is watery, it's most likely normal and not a sign of infection. Clear and watery discharge can increase at any point during your cycle. Estrogen can stimulate the production of more fluids.

(Video) What is Toxic Shock Syndrome? (Tampons Disease)

What happens if you pull out a dry tampon?

When you pull out a dry tampon that's only been in your vagina a short time, it can be uncomfortable. Next time, give the tampon a chance to absorb some of your menstrual flow. That way it won't be dry and won't drag along your delicate vaginal lining.

Can I get toxic shock from a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups also known as vaginal cups are usually used as alternatives to other intravaginal products for menstrual blood collection. In rare cases, they can also lead to toxic shock syndrome.

Can you have TSS without a fever?

Unlike the other most common types of TSS, such as staphylococcal TSS, C. sordellii does not usually cause a fever. Call 911 if you or another person shows signs of shock, especially if you have used tampons, a diaphragm, or contraceptive sponge or if you have a skin wound or infection.

What does the beginning of toxic shock feel like?

The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) start suddenly and get worse quickly. They include: a high temperature. flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, feeling cold, feeling tired or exhausted, an aching body, a sore throat and a cough.

Can leaving a tampon in too long cause itching?

Irritation. Itch during your period could be caused by your tampons or pads. Sometimes, sensitive skin can react to the materials used to make the hygiene products you use. Your tampon may also be drying.

(Video) Mom Warns of Toxic Shock Syndrome Risks After Daughter Dies

Can pads cause TSS?

In the 1980s, TSS became more well-known because it was associated with highly absorbent tampons (those highly absorbent tampons were quickly taken off the market). However, tampons aren't required for TSS. You can get it while using pads or menstrual cups, or no period protection at all. Anyone can get TSS.

Why did my period stop after I used a tampon?

Tampons soak up menstrual blood, but they may also block some menstrual flow from the vagina, which could extend the duration of bleeding. Sanitary pads should not hinder the menstrual flow, so some people feel that using them can help their period to end sooner.

Will a stuck tampon eventually come out?

So let me just start with the good news: NOPE! A tampon CANNOT get lost in your body. Even though your vagina connects your outside parts with the “inside” of your body, there's basically a dead end at the top of the vagina - it's called your cervix, and there's no way a tampon can go past that.

Do you need to wear a pad with a tampon?

It's common to use different things at different times during your period. For example, someone may use tampons during the day and pads at night. You can also wear period underwear, a pad, or a pantyliner (a thin pad) while you're using a tampon or cup, for backup protection in case of leaks.

Can you wear tampons to swim?

Tampons are specifically designed to absorb period flow before it can leave your body which makes them one of the best products to use for swimming on your period and you won't have to worry about signs of your period showing in the water. ... So, do yourself a favor and leave the pads behind and snag a tampon.

(Video) Model Who Lost Legs To Toxic Shock Syndrome Shares Inspiring Mission | TODAY

How can I stop my period leaking at night?

How to Stop period leaking at night

  1. Use pads with wings. ...
  2. Change your pad right before going to bed. ...
  3. Use overnight pads. ...
  4. Wear a tampon. ...
  5. Get out of bed slowly in the morning.

Can a man wear a tampon?

But aside from stopping the flow of a lady's menstrual cycle, tampons have many practical uses for both women and men. In fact, they could even save your life.

What is Septicaemia?

Septicemia, or sepsis, is the clinical name for blood poisoning by bacteria. It is the body's most extreme response to an infection. Sepsis that progresses to septic shock has a death rate as high as 50%, depending on the type of organism involved. Sepsis is a medical emergency and needs urgent medical treatment.

What does toxic shock look like?

Toxic Shock Syndrome Symptoms

A high fever that spikes suddenly. Low blood pressure. Throwing up or frequent, watery stools. A rash that looks like a sunburn, especially on your palms and bottoms of your feet.

(Video) Lauren Wasser: How One Model Lost Her Leg to Toxic Shock Syndrome and Found her Life’s Purpose

FAQs

What in tampons causes toxic shock syndrome? ›

The following bacteria cause TSS: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus or staph): This bacteria typically lives on your body. It can enter your bloodstream through skin wounds and small tears in your vagina while using tampons.

How long does it take to get toxic shock syndrome from tampons? ›

In general, TSS symptoms can develop as soon as 12 hours after a surgical procedure. Symptoms usually develop in 3 to 5 days in individuals who are menstruating and using tampons or menstrual cups.

What are the chances of getting toxic shock syndrome from tampons? ›

“The National Organization for Rare Disorders estimates that TSS related to tampon use occurs in about 1 in 100,000 menstruating women.”

What are the 3 major criteria of toxic shock syndrome? ›

Clinical Criteria

Multisystem involvement (three or more of the following organ systems): Gastrointestinal: vomiting or diarrhea at onset of illness. Muscular: severe myalgia or creatine phosphokinase level at least twice the upper limit of normal. Mucous membrane: vaginal, oropharyngeal, or conjunctival hyperemia.

What is the most common cause of toxic shock syndrome? ›

Most commonly, Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria cause toxic shock syndrome. The syndrome can also be caused by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

How rare is toxic shock syndrome? ›

The incidence of TSS is estimated to be around 0.8 to 3.4 per 100,000 in the United States. This activity reviews the evaluation and treatment of toxic shock syndrome and discusses the role of the interprofessional team in evaluating and treating this condition.

What does the beginning of toxic shock feel like? ›

The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome (TSS) start suddenly and get worse quickly. They include: a high temperature. flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, feeling cold, feeling tired or exhausted, an aching body, a sore throat and a cough.

How do you test for toxic shock syndrome? ›

Your vagina, cervix and throat may be swabbed for samples to be analyzed in a lab. Because toxic shock syndrome can affect multiple organs, your doctor may order other tests, such as a CT scan, lumbar puncture or chest X-ray, to assess the extent of your illness.

Can you survive toxic shock syndrome? ›

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but very serious infection. TSS is a medical emergency. So it's important to know how to prevent it and what signs to watch for. With prompt treatment, it's usually cured.

Is toxic shock syndrome easy to get? ›

Reducing the risk of toxic shock syndrome

Given the number of women worldwide who regularly use tampons, TSS is a very rare condition. Suggestions to reduce the risk include: Change tampons regularly (at least every four hours). Avoid using super-absorbent tampons.

Can you have a mild case of toxic shock? ›

Prostration and hypotensive shock can occur within 24 hours. Milder forms of the disease also may be seen. The overall mortality rate is approximately 8 percent. This report describes a mild case of TSS in a young, healthy, 16-year-old female who developed symptoms during menstruation.

What age group is most at risk for toxic shock syndrome? ›

Age: STSS is more common in adults 65 years of age or older. Skin injury or breakdown: Recently having surgery, a viral infection that causes open sores (like varicella), or other skin injury increases risk for developing STSS.

What is the survival rate of toxic shock syndrome? ›

The CDC notes that toxic shock syndrome (TSS) resulting from strep A can have a mortality rate of 30–70%. That means that the survival rate for severe cases of STSS can be as high as 70%. Children tend to have higher survival rates than older adults.

How long does it take for toxic shock syndrome to happen? ›

Common signs and symptoms include fever, muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea, and a sunburn- like rash that later peels. Hypotension (low blood pressure), shock, multi-organ failure, and death can occur. How soon after exposure do symptoms appear? TSS can develop within 12 hours in some cases.

Who is most at risk for toxic shock syndrome? ›

TSS from streptococcus infections is most commonly seen in children and the elderly. Other people at risk include those with diabetes, weak immune system, chronic lung disease, or heart disease.

What happens to the body during toxic shock syndrome? ›

Toxic shock syndrome affects menstruating women, especially those who use super-absorbent tampons. The body responds to the infection with a sharp drop in blood pressure that deprives organs of oxygen and can lead to death.

Can I sleep with a tampon in? ›

The short answer is: Yes, you can sleep with a tampon in. But it's important to pick the tampon with the right absorbency for you and not wear any tampon for longer than eight hours.

Does toxic shock feel like cramps? ›

In general, TSS causes more of a flu-like illness, Dr. Altman says. "You can have cramps, but they won't be localized to the lower abdomen like they are with a period," she says. "You will have muscle aches throughout the body, along with high fevers and a rash."

Do you need to go to the hospital for toxic shock syndrome? ›

Toxic shock syndrome is a medical emergency. Seek medical help right away if you develop a rash, fever, and feel ill, particularly during menstruation and tampon use or if you have had recent surgery.

How long can you keep a tampon in without getting toxic shock syndrome? ›

The bottom line. To err on the side of caution, remove a tampon after 4 to 6 hours, but no longer than 8 hours. After 8 hours, your risk of developing TSS — along with other infections or irritations — increases. Although TSS is very rare, it's always best to be careful when it comes to your menstrual health.

What happens if I leave a tampon in for 3 days? ›

Leaving a tampon in for too long can lead to infections and rarely cause life-threatening toxic shock syndrome (TSS). TSS is typically caused by an overgrowth of bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Each year toxic shock syndrome affects about 1 in 100,000 women.

Can you get toxic shock syndrome for leaving a tampon in for 8 hours? ›

Tampon manufacturers advise that a tampon should not be left in for more than 8 hours. Occasionally, a rare but life-threatening bacterial infection called toxic shock syndrome has been linked to women using tampons.

Can you get TSS from wearing a tampon for 2 hours? ›

Here's why: Tampons themselves don't cause TSS. TSS is actually caused by bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus.

Will I get TSS If I leave a tampon in for 24 hours? ›

"There's a possibility of developing toxic shock syndrome, but the risk of TSS is about 1 in 100,000," when tampons are used properly, says Dr. Nathan. "So it's rare even if the tampon is left in for a longer period of time," Dr. Nathan adds.

What antibiotics are used to treat TSS? ›

The usually prescribed antibiotics are nafcillin, oxacillin, and first generation cephalosporin. Nafcillin or oxacillin (2 g q4h) is generally recommended. Vancomycin can be used in penicillin-allergic patients. These agents have been known to increase TSST-1 in culture possibly by cell lysis.

What are the symptoms of a tampon left in? ›

Signs of a retained object or tampon
  • discharge from the vagina (it may be yellow, green, pink, grey or brown in colour)
  • discharge that has a very bad smell.
  • a very bad smell from the vaginal area but no discharge.
  • a high temperature.
  • vaginal itching.
  • pain or discomfort when passing urine.

How do you treat toxic shock syndrome from tampons? ›

If you think you could have toxic shock syndrome, stop using tampons immediately and go to the emergency department of your nearest hospital.
  1. a stay in hospital.
  2. medication (antibiotics) to kill the infection.
  3. fluids given through a drip (intravenously) to increase blood pressure and treat dehydration.

Is 10 hours too long for a tampon? ›

You should only use a tampon for up to 8 hours. So, if you're asking can you sleep with a tampon in, the short answer is yes. Your tampon doesn't know if it's day or night and will work the same while you sleep, just be sure to only use a tampon for up to 8 hours.

What happens if I leave a tampon in for 10 hours? ›

As for the health effects of retained tampons, Rodriguez explains, "The most common consequence of leaving a tampon in for too long or forgetting a tampon inside, is a very foul-smelling discharge and irregular spotting." She describes the experience as a "mild or minor condition" and elaborated that it often only ...

Can I sleep with a tampon in for 10 hours? ›

Many people wonder if it is safe to sleep with a tampon in. Most people will be fine if they sleep while wearing a tampon, but if you sleep for longer than eight hours, you could be at risk of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). This is a rare but potentially fatal condition that requires urgent medical attention.

Will I get TSS If I leave a tampon in for 15 hours? ›

If you discover you've accidentally left a tampon in for more than eight hours, don't freak out, says Sparks. You're not automatically going to get TSS, but you are at higher risk.

Videos

1. 4 toxic shock cases, 'super' tampons may be to blame
(WOOD TV8)
2. How a TAMPON sent me to the hospital *SEPSIS RECOVERY*
(Kaelyn Gutierrez)
3. The Not-So-Scary Truth About Toxic Shock Syndrom (TSS)
(Tampax)
4. Mom on mission after daughter dies from toxic shock syndrome
(ABC Action News)
5. Should You Stop Wearing Tampons?
(AsapSCIENCE)
6. The Truth About Tampons and TSS | Time to Tampax with Amy Schumer and Girlology
(Tampax)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Virgilio Hermann JD

Last Updated: 11/04/2022

Views: 5616

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Virgilio Hermann JD

Birthday: 1997-12-21

Address: 6946 Schoen Cove, Sipesshire, MO 55944

Phone: +3763365785260

Job: Accounting Engineer

Hobby: Web surfing, Rafting, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Ghost hunting, Swimming, Amateur radio

Introduction: My name is Virgilio Hermann JD, I am a fine, gifted, beautiful, encouraging, kind, talented, zealous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.