What should we remember about toxic shock syndrome?

À What is Menstrual Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS)? You may have already heard of it. First of all, the goal is not to worry unduly. This is to inform about this rare infectious disease. What causes toxic shock syndrome? He can occur during prolonged use of certain sanitary protections like the tampon or the menstrual cup. Adopting the right gestures and habits during menstruation helps to avoid it. Indeed, there are alternatives like period panties.

What is toxic shock syndrome? 

What is the definition of toxic shock syndrome? This serious disease occurs during menstruation under certain conditions. Internal hygienic protections may be the cause. This infection occurs in women with S. aureus bacteria, i.e. certain staphylococci aureus. These germs secrete TSST-1 toxins. toxic shock syndrome staphylococcal can therefore occur when stagnant blood causes bacteria to grow. The risk of seeing these multiply is real.

What causes toxic shock syndrome? 

Very often women do not know that the S. aureus bacteria is present in their vaginal microbiota. If a patient carrying this germ puts a tampon or menstrual cup for too long, toxic shock syndrome may occur. Indeed, the blood stagnates in the vagina for several hours and is not evacuated. The bacterium also remains blocked and therefore diffuses these TSST-1 toxins into the body via the blood. Vital organs can then be affected.

Why is it also called tampon disease?

The presence of these staphylococci aureus and prolonged use of the tampon promote the possibility of TSS. This is why it is also called tampon disease. If you use this sanitary protection, here are some rules:  

  • read the instructions before use;

  • make sure to change tampons every 4 hours;

  • it is also best not to wear it at night. 

toxic shock syndrome staph and the menstrual cup 

What else can cause toxic shock syndrome? Menstrual cup is also a protection to be inserted into the vagina. As stated earlier, in the event of improper use and the presence of the S. aureus bacteria, toxic shock can occur. It is therefore essential to follow the recommendations : 

  • wash the menstrual cup well between each use;

  • sterilize it by boiling it in particular;

  • don't wear it more than 6 to 8 hours in a row.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

The warning signs of toxic shock syndrome are: headache and sore throat, dizziness, diarrhoea, vomiting, high fever, muscle aches, rash, low blood pressure… In the event of symptoms, the hygienic protection must be removed and act quickly to prevent the spread of infection to vital organs. It is important that you are informed so that you can talk to the doctors about it. Indeed, toxic shock can be confused with flu or gastro. 

The hours are counted for good care and the administration of antibiotics. The consequences of this rare infectious disease can be very serious: amputations, death… In 2017, according to the health section of Le Figaro, 23 cases have been recorded in France. These are often very young women. Note that about 1% of women have this Staphylococcus aureus (source Inserm.fr). In addition, some do not have the level of antibodies necessary to fight against this infection. 

How to avoid tampon disease? 

"Aunt Sophie is in town", "The English have landed". Here are some expressions used to indicate the period of menstruation. Fortunately, this subject is becoming less and less taboo, and the term "periods" more present. Indeed, it is necessary to talk about it freely, especially with young girls: bleeding, cycle length, toxic shock syndrome, etc. Prevention and speech are essential. You can also opt for an alternative like period panties. 

Menstrual panties: the revolution in sanitary protection!

Although it remains rare, it is important to know more about toxic shock. Choose the hygienic protection that suits you best while respecting the instructions for use. Why not test your period panties? It is revolutionary, comfortable, absorbent… To try it is to adopt it! You won't be able to do without it!