What is TSS, and why is there a risk with traditional tampons?
TSS is the result of the common bacteria, Staphylococcus Aureus, producing a toxin which is absorbed into the bloodstream. It quickly takes over the body and begins to attack the major organs. It can manifest similarly to the flu, with symptoms like sore throat, achy muscles, fever, nausea, rash, confusion, dizziness, low blood pressure and diarrhea. While these symptoms might seem like a common flu, if you ever have them during your menstrual cycle, call your physician! TSS can be fatal.
The cause for the relationship to traditional tampons is that they contain synthetic fibers which not only leave tiny abrasions in the vagina, giving direct access to the bloodstream, but also because synthetic fibers do not breathe like natural fibers. They provide the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, like the strain that can cause TSS. Half of all know cases of TSS are related to tampon use. It is also associated with diaphragm birth control methods and contraceptive sponges.
Thankfully there is an alternative.
Choosing 100% organic cotton tampons, a reusable menstrual cup or menstrual pads can eliminate the risk. No one has ever reported TSS as the result of using a 100% cotton tampon. Brands like Maxim Hygiene and Seventh Generation are great options. Additionally, reusable cups like Lunette & Diva Cup offer the same claim, and are oh so friendly to your body. I’m a total cup girl, I can’t deny it.
You can read all about why you don’t want to use traditional menstrual products here (and what ones to give a try!)
Want to learn more about TSS and how you can help? Visit You-ARE-Loved.org