Toxic Shock Syndrome & Tampons

By, Meredith Kenneally


1. Staphylococcus Aureus- bacterial toxin that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome

2. Hypotension-low blood pressure

3. Toxin- an antigenic poison that causes a disease, it is produced by microorganisms

Columbia News Tonight: Toxic Shock Syndrome

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome?

Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a disease caused by a bacterial toxin called Staphylococcus Aureus (SA) or streptococcus (Strep). It affects men, women and children, most commonly women that are on their period. The disease is treated by antibiotic and blood pressure stabilizers, but not everyone survives.

symptoms and warning signs include:


~Rash (looks like a sun burn)


~Muscle Aches





~Redness in eyes, mouth and throat




If you think you have TSS you need to go to a hospital ASAP. Some hospitals in this area include; St. Peters, Albany Med, Samaritan, etc. The doctors will give you antibiotics and blood pressure stabilizers, and try their best to keep you alive. Unfortunately, not everyone survives.

Using Tampons Appropriatley

~Tampons themselves do not cause TSS. They are a great breeding ground for SA. A gets on the tampon, and breeds in the fibers. Then when the tampon is used, the bacteria enters your body. The FDA has banned the selling of certain tampons because of the materials in them.

~When you have a tampon inside of you, it is harder for your body to flush out the TSS because it is plugged up. Tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours, and the absorbency should not be too high. Using a tampon with a lower absorbency, and changing more frequently decreases risk of TSS.

~Once you have had TSS, your risk of getting it again is higher, and using tampons further increases that.


1. Men cant get TSS because they don't get their period.

FALSE. TSS is caused by a bacterial toxin, not a tampon

2.If you sleep with a tampon in, you will get TSS.

FALSE. while sleeping with a tampon in is not recommended, it wont cause TSS.

3. Can a tampon get lost/stuck?

No, there is no where for it to go.

4. If I use pads I cant get TSS.

FALSE. TSS is caused by a bacterial toxin.