Tampon: Toxic Shock Syndrome(TSS)


Anya Amanvi, Photograph,journalist

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by a release of toxins in the bloodstream. The bacteria named Staphylococcus aureus is found in many women’s bodies. It was identified in the ’70s,80’s when tampons were used a lot by menstruated women and girls but it became absent because of how tampons are made now.

the toxic shock syndrome is bacterial infections, toxic produced by the staph bacteria(gems that we mostly found on the skin and the nose), and a group A strep bacteria(spread when you have contact with infected wound or sores in the skin). TSS from strep bacteria affected mostly children and the elderly which can cause diabetes, chronic lung disease, and heart disease.TSS from staph bacteria affected more menstruated women and girls.

The TSS increases the blood flow to the mouth, eyes, and vagina which makes them really red.

the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome are:

  • high fever (102*f,38,9*c)
  • chills
  • feeling unwell
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pain

The TSS is diagnosed by doing blood culture, blood test, urine test, and many other tests. It can be treated by antibiotics, blood products and surgical cleaning of the infected wound, etc. They can be complications from TSS such as amputations of fingers, toes, and limbs, and also it can conduct to death.

A Canadian teenager died on her school field trip to Hornby Island in 2017, because of shock syndrome. The TSS is a rare illness that affects 3-6 people per 100 000 per year.


Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine, Mayo clinic.