Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but sometimes deadly condition caused by bacteria that make toxins or poisons. In 1980, 63 women died from TSS. A certain brand of super absorbency tampons was said to be the cause. These tampons were taken off the market.

Today, most cases of TSS are not caused by using tampons. But, you could be at risk for TSS if you use more absorbent tampons than you need for your bleeding or if you do not change your tampon often enough (at least every four to eight hours). Menstrual cups, cervical caps, sponges, or diaphragms (anything inserted into your vagina) may also increase your risk for TSS if they are left in place for too long (usually 24 hours). Remove sponges within 30 hours and cervical caps within 48 hours.

 

If you have any symptoms of TSS, take out the tampon, menstrual cup, sponge, or diaphragm, and call 999 or go to the hospital right away.

Symptoms of TSS include:

  • Sudden high fever

  • Muscle aches

  • Vomiting

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Rash

  • Kidney or other organ failure

 

How does the menstrual cycle affect other health problems?

The changing hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle can also affect other health problems:

  • Depression and anxiety disordersThese conditions often overlap with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Depression and anxiety symptoms are similar to PMS and may get worse before or during your period.

  • Asthma. Your asthma symptoms may be worse during some parts of your cycle.

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)IBS causes cramping, bloating, and gas. Your IBS symptoms may get worse right before your period.

  • Bladder pain syndromeWomen with bladder pain syndrome are more likely to have painful cramps during PMS.

 

What is toxic shock syndrome?

14 April 2012

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