Top 10 TSS symptoms

pads and cups .jpg

What Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) symptoms?

TSS is a serious bacterial infection that girls and women can contract from using tampons and menstrual cups incorrectly.

It’s very rare, extremely rare when you think about how many billions of girls and women get their periods every month.

But it’s important to understand best practice when using both tampons and menstrual cups to keep yourself safe.

Tampons should never be used unless you have your period and have a flow of blood. If you’re spotting, use liners.

This is because tampons are absorbent and absorb your natural moisture too. If used when you’re not bleeding, they can dry your vagina out making you more prone to TSS.

Tampons need to be changed regularly, every 4 hours is advised. It’s also advised to use tampons that meet your flow, so use supers when your flow is strong and minis when it’s light.

When tampons are left in your vagina for too long, bacteria can start to develop on the tampon.

This bacteria can enter your bloodstream via tiny small abrasions on the vaginal wall, which can be caused from inserting and removing tampons.

The same is true for cups. As cups are reusable, where as tampons are throw away, you need to sterilise cups before using them again (boil them in water for at least 10 minutes) before reusing them.

Bacteria can grow on cups that have not been sterilised and are reused.

Symptoms of TSS

If you’ve left a tampon in for a few days or haven’t sterilised your cups for a few days and you have any of these symptoms, go to hospital straight away.

It’s better to be safe than sorry with TSS. It can be fatal, so it’s important to pay attention to ensure you’re safe.

These are a common list of symptoms associated with TSS:

  1. Fever

  2. Low blood pressure

  3. Vomiting, nausea or diarrhoea

  4. Dizziness, fainting or light-headedness

  5. Fatigue or mental confusion

  6. Headache

  7. Sore throat/mouth, redness of the eyes

  8. Not urinating

  9. Rash

  10. Muscle aches

TSS has been compared to symptoms and feelings of the flu.

If you have just had your period or are on your period and using tampons or cups, and have one or more of the above symptoms, see your GP immediately or go to the emergency department at your local hospital.

Luna is here to make this experience positive and fun (ya fun) for you. We've got your back, and know you’ve got this too! 

Email us any time, there's no such thing as a dumb question

Kelly Gregor