TSS is caused by a bacteria, staphylococcus aureus (aka staph), which releases toxins into the blood stream. Anyone can contract TSS but menstruating people who use internal products are more at risk.
The use of internal menstrual products (such as tampons, menstrual cups or menstrual sponges), diaphragms, recent surgery or open wounds can all increase the risk of TSS.
It's important to be aware of the signs of TSS. Symptoms may progress quickly and may be fatal. Signs or symptoms of TSS may include;
If left untreated, the toxins produced by the Staph bacteria can damage internal organs and tissue and may cause death.
Thoroughly wash your hands before inserting any internal menstrual product.
Avoid the increased risk of contracting TSS by using a pad or use a pad overnight if you will be sleeping for longer than 8 hours.
If you have trouble remembering to change your tampon or menstrual cup, set an alarm to remind you on your phone.
If you have had warning signs of TSS in the past, you should check with your doctor before using tampons again.
Always select the minimum absorbency tampon needed for your flow to reduce the risk of TSS and follow the manufactures guidelines on how often you should change your tampon.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends tampons are changed every 4-8 hours and never worn for any longer than 8 hours.
Never insert more than one tampon at a time.
Remember to remove your tampon at the end of your cycle.
Some menstrual cup manufacturers advise a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours however others recommend cups are emptied and thoroughly washed at lease every 8 hours.
Consult your doctor if you have any questions about tampon or menstrual cup usage or TSS.