What You Need to Know about Toxic Shock Syndrome and How to Prevent It


I’m usually not the one to use scare tactic to convince people to do things that I think they should do (like giving up tampons, and start using silicone menstrual cups for catching menstrual flow).

The fact is that toxic shock syndrome is extremely rare, so I don’t want you to be scared when you find yourself during your menstrual period with nothing else to use but tampons.

That is not my point.

But still, the truth remains that TSS happens, and all women should be aware of the risk of using tampons, especially, since there are many safe and convenient alternatives – namely, menstrual cups.

So read the article, and decide for yourself!

And shop for menstrual cups HERE 🙂

We will begin the the year 1975, though it started eons ago. There were five major tampon manufactures spending millions of dollars on advertising each year. Their key words were comfort and security. Still companies failed to improve on the quality of their product with the old cardboard tampon design, though some offered plastic tube applications as an alternative.

Tampax’s vulnerable point was security. Women could try the utmost care, but there were those humiliating occasions when the old tampon failed to do its job. I have witnessed this event at a clinic when a woman was waiting in line to see a doctor. Blood had seeped through her cotton sweat-pant. A lady mentioned the stain on her garment. The women immediately covered it with her jacket wrapping the sleeves around her waist.

These new products were allowed on the market without any demonstration prior the plastic insert designs or the proof of safe way for either the plastic insert designs or the perfumes.

Let us jump to 1980: The news coverage was horrific, “Teenager dies of tampon use. Details at eleven!” “Toxic Shock Syndrome Survivor tells her story tonight on eyewitness News.” “Centers for disease control warning women to beware of tampons. Stay tune for more!”

Most American women reacted with a sense of helplessness: how could something which had become such an essential part of a women’s life turn out to be potentially deadly. The CDC thought most of the female TSS cases involved super absorbent tampons. By 1994 Toxic Shock Syndrome was an enduring addition to the list of human pathogens, and though it is no longer attracting law suits and front page news, the novel S. Aureus strain was causing nearly as many infections, ailments, and deaths in the 1900s as it had in 1983.

Though tampon boxes were covered with a variety of warnings, menstruating women continued to come down with TSS, practically with those who used super absorbent products. What occurs with the traditional feminine hygiene products?

1) The synthetic materials are known to advance toxic shock Syndrome (TSS) in young femals not having time to develop necessary antibodies.

2) When chlorine is used in the bleaching process it will release dioxin, a carcinogen into a women’s vagina and uterus. These dangers were known years ago. No product since 1980 and before had a standard for absorbency. The TSS symptoms incur a 2-to-3 day period of mild symptoms before the disease develops. These mild symptoms may include low grade fever, chills, muscle aches, rash, redness in the sensitive areas, nausea, abdominal pain, confusion, and low blood pressure just to name a few maladies.

Now men should know why at many times it is difficult to deal with their better significant other. Most TSS cases in the United States are not reported. It could cost the states to report to the Centers for Disease control and Prevention much expense, gathering the data and submitting it to the CDC.

In February, 1999 USA Today article “The CDC estimates that 1300 people get toxic shock syndrome annually. Half are related to tampons; 5% die” This information has been suppressed and not linked directly to their products. Its all about the money. There are only a few independent studies.

One study of two New York University medical center researchers, Dr. Philip Tiemo and Dr.Bruce Hanna, tested tampons. Their 1999 article in E Magazine, “concluded that tampons containing synthetics amplify the production of the TSS — causing toxin by certain strains of bacteria, whereas the all-cotton tampons produced no measurable toxin.” Dr. Tiemo is quoted in the same article saying, “Synthetic tampons absorb more water than [does] cotton, leaving concentrated proteins, that are used by staph bacteria to create the toxin, creating toxin factories.”

Dangers of Dioxin

Dioxin is a term used to describe a group of hundreds of chemicals that surround our environment like smog. Dioxin forms into unintentional by-product of many industrial processes which contain chlorine such as waste incineration. Yes. dioxin can cause cancer. The EPA report confirmed Dioxin as a cancer hazard to people. The International agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) a part of the world Health Organization published their research on dioxins and reported in February 14,1997 dioxin is considered a Group1 carcinogen a “known carcinogen”.

Now there is a product that saves lives. It is from Winalite. It doses all the needed and necessary job to make a women feel safe and secure in any given situation.

Stay tuned to my next installment, “Menstruation is not a Natural Occurrence”

Read what FDA has to say about that. Whether these allegations about dioxins and TSS are true or not, one way to prevent the occurence of toxic shock syndrome is to STOP USING TAMPONS altogether. Read more about safe, eco-friendly and convenient alternatives to tampons on my Menstrual Period Cup blog.


Diva Cup


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