Tampons and TSS

Original Article:
Toxic Shock Syndrome has been associated with tampon use. Here's how you should wear a tampon, to avoid developing this disease.

What is TSS?

TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome is a rare and sometimes fatal disease caused by the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus, which has been associated with tampon use. TSS can affect anyone, men, women and children. Around 50% of the women who develop TSS, use tampons. re some guidelines for recommended tampon usage:

Avoid high absorbency tampons unless you are sure your flow is heavy Extensive research shows that the main link is that of absorbency. Those women that use tampons which are more absorbent than they require, stand a greater chance of developing TSS. This is why you should always wear a tampon of the lowest absorbency you require. So, if you find that you change a light tampon every four or five hours, don't switch to regular. Stick with light. In general, you should change your tampon every 4-6 hours.

Don't wear a tampon overnight

Although you can wear a tampon at night, it is best to avoid doing so. This is because at times you bleed lightly when sleeping. In addition, you may oversleep, with the result that you have been wearing the same tampon for nine or ten hours. So it is best to avoid wearing a tampon at night. Just wear a pad.

Alternate with pads

To play it even safer, don't wear a tampon everyday. Women who wear tampons everyday of their period, without wearing a pad at all, who sleep wearing tampons and who wear tampons of higher absorbency have been found to develop TSS. So, alternate a tampon with a pad. Also, you can consider avoiding wearing a tampon at all on lighter days, or wear one with the lightest absorbency on your lighter days. Arati, 34, has been wearing tampons for around 10 years now, and swears by them. She wears a regular tampon on her first day, even though her flow is very heavy. She changes it after four hours and inserts another tampon. She removes this at night, and wears a pad. The next day she wears just one tampon for around five hours. After this she wears only pads, and she has never had a problem. Shweta, 24, has been wearing tampons since she was 19, and often wears a pad only on her last day, when her flow is very light. She too has had no problem so far.

In addition:

Remove the tampon immediately if you feel dizzy or unwell.
If you have had TSS, don't use a tampon at all.
Don't insert a tampon if your vagina feels dry.
Use 100% cotton tampons.
Be careful that you don't scratch your vaginal opening while inserting a tampon. This may happen if you are inserting a tampon with an applicator, so you need to be especially careful when doing so.

Why does my period reduce by a day after wearing a tampon?

This is completely normal, and it happens because the blood takes around a day to travel down the vaginal opening. When you insert a tampon, the blood gets absorbed from within the vagina, cutting down the amount that actually flows out.

Tampon Use FAQs

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