Toxic Shock Syndrome: Tampons and More
The Tampon-TSS Connection
Symptoms Occur Suddenly
- High fever (102°F [39°C] or higher)
- Rash resembling a sunburn that eventually peels skin on the palms and soles
- Lightheadedness or fainting caused by a drop in blood pressure
- Rapid pulse
- Muscular aches and pains
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Blood-shot eyes
- Vaginal discharge (may be watery or bloody)
- Swelling in the face and eyelids
- Extreme fatigue and/or weakness
Urgency: Treating TSS Immediately
- Large amounts of fluids (intravenously if necessary) to keep hydrated and control the effects of the fever
- Antibiotics to help control the infection
- Medications to control and reduce the fever, as well as aches and pain
Prevention: The Best Bet
- Wash your hands before inserting a tampon.
- Use tampons with as low a degree of absorbency as is practical, and don't use super-absorbent tampons unless instructed to do so by your doctor.
- Change your tampon every 4-8 hours.
- Do not leave a tampon in overnight.
- When practical, use a pad instead of a tampon.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology http://www.acog.org
US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Clostridial toxic shock syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated September 15, 2014. Accessed May 29, 2015.
Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2014. Accessed May 29, 2015.
Toxic shock syndrome. Nemours Kid's Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/toxic%5Fshock.html. Updated June 2014. Accessed May 29, 2015.
Toxic shock syndrome. Virginia Department of Health. Available at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/Epidemiology/factsheets/pdf/toxic%5Fshock.pdf. Accessed May 29, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2015 -
- Update Date: 05/29/2015 -
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