Toxic Shock Syndrome and Menstrual Cups


April 12, 2017

Toxic Shock Syndrome and Menstrual Cups

What is toxic shock syndrome?

TSS is a sudden onset, potentially fatal condition that can occur through tampon users. It is caused through the overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus, bacteria that harbours in our precious female regions. When this bacterium overgrows above normal levels, it can release a poisonous substance, resulting with a rapid decrease in blood pressure. This drop then starves the body from oxygen and can have a potentially fatal result.

TSS is more common in woman who use highly super absorbent tampons throughout their menstruation and those who have recently given birth. One third of cases occur in those under 19 years old with a 30% risk of TSS occurring again throughout their lifetime. Throughout your period you should seek medical help if you experience high temperatures and vomiting whilst wearing a tampon.

Tampons are commonly made from polyester foam, cotton or rayon fibres. When this material becomes saturated in blood it provides a very attractive environment for overgrowth of bacteria. The insertion of a tampon can also contribute to TSS. Microscopic tears can occur throughout the vaginal walls while sliding the tampon in, causing blood vessel rupture, and easier access for the poisonous substance to enter the blood stream. The size and type of tampon also have contributing factors to TSS, a light flow with a superabsorbent tampon can lead to dryness and increase chance of tearing.


How can Menstrual cups prevent this?

  • The PELVI cup, is a menstrual cup produced from high medical grade silicone material. Silicone in comparison to tampon-related materials, are far less likely to support bacterial growth.
  • When the blood throughout menstruation is captured, it is kept away from the vaginal walls and sits at the base of the cup.
  • Menstrual cups do not interfere with the mucous membranes of vaginal walls, and does not absorb any of the vaginas protective fluids due to its smooth surface

Menstrual cups are by far the more superior choice when it comes to selecting the right feminine care product. To reduce the incidence of TSS in women, we should support the use of menstrual cups from an early age. This should be a common, more readily available healthier and safer alternative.


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