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How to help prevent toxic shock syndrome

Written by Chelsea Tromans

 

As if you didn’t resent your period enough. The cramps, the inconvenience. Then you remember reading something on that little booklet that comes with your tampons about toxic shock syndrome. Sounds serious and scary. So, what are some things you can do to minimise your risk of toxic shock syndrome? Here are some general tips to keep in mind.

Psst… remember to speak to your GP or healthcare professional if you have any questions about TSS, and seek urgent medical attention if you think you have developed any symptoms of TSS. 

 

What is toxic shock syndrome?

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare, life-threatening bacterial infection that results predominantly from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, although it can also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria. 

Interestingly, these bacteria are commonly found in the body. However, it’s when these types of bacteria overgrow and make large amounts of the TSS toxin that there’s a risk of toxic shock syndrome. The toxins act like poison and enter the bloodstream, infecting the body. 

 

How to prevent toxic shock syndrome

While the likelihood of getting TSS is low, the symptoms can be severe so it’s better to err on the side of caution. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to help protect yourself from developing toxic shock syndrome. If you change your tampons frequently (every four hours is recommended), alternate between using tampons and sanitary napkins, swap to minipads when your flow is light (try Lovekins Ultra Thin Pads Daily Liners), and opt for pads instead of tampons overnight (we love the ultra absorbency but comfortable fit of Lovekins Ultra Thin Night Pads), you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

Other precautions to protect yourself from toxic shock syndrome include being gentle when inserting and removing tampons, not handling the tampon more than you need to and always inserting them immediately after removing the packaging, and not using super-absorbent tampons.

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