How do you get toxic shock syndrome?

Comment attrape t'on le syndrome du choc toxique ?

Today, we speak about a rare but very serious disease: Toxic shock syndrome (TSS). You will find in this article the definition of TSS as well as the testimony of Leona who contracted the disease during a trip to Australia.

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome, also called TSS?

TSS is a very rare but serious infection that is caused by the overgrowth and release of bacteria into the bloodstream. According to reports received by the National Staphylococcal Reference Center, fewer than 20 women per year are affected by TSS. Among them, users of tampons and menstrual cups.

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by the Staphylococcus Aureus bacterium which, by producing toxins, triggers an inflammation. In response, the body massively manufactures immune cells that can cause shock. The body then concentrates its efforts on the vital organs and leaves the extremities (legs, arms, etc.).

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) was brought to light in 2012 by the American Lauren Wasser who had her right leg amputated after contracting TSS. In the early 1980s, more than 700 women in North America were victims of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The news doesn't stop there, as in January 2020, a 17-year-old Belgian girl died after contracting the disease due to a misdiagnosis.

Why does Toxic Shock Syndrome occur with tampons and cups?

The vaginal mucosa that keeps a tampon too long is more fragile. It is more prone to irritation, which can cause lesions that facilitate the passage of staphylococci or toxins into the body.

  • In order for For staphylococcus aureus to develop toxins, the culture medium must be favorable to it: this is where the relationship with tampons, cup comes in.
  • If the tampon is kept for too long or its absorption capacity is too high, the blood remains in the body at room temperature (36/37°).
  • It stagnates and greatly favours the development of bacteria...

Our advice

Do not use tampons but favor external sanitary protection such as our Elia menstrual panties.

If you use tampons or cups:

  • Don't use tampons if you don't need them - Not allowed outside of your period. Put on an Elia panty to protect yourself from mini leaks or to reassure yourself.
  • Use tampons with very low absorbency and change them regularly. You can put on your Elia panty if you are afraid of leaks.
  • Change tampons every 4 to 6 hours / Same for the cup by disinfecting/sterilizing it to the maximum!
  • We do not recommend wearing tampons or cups at night.
  • Wash your hands before each handling of a tampon or a cup.

Symptoms of Toxic Shock:

If you start to feel sick, talk to your doctor and tell him or her that you think you have TSS. Some symptoms to look for: Sudden fever (38.9°C or higher), vomiting, sore throat, diarrhea, rash (redness), severe muscle pain, dizziness, fainting

Read more:


Leona's experience

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