Lauren Wasser is a model who valued her beauty and athleticism. Both of which she felt were rocked when she lost her leg to TSS. Hello Giggles quoted her saying,
"You live your whole life and thinking, 'I'm an athlete,' or, 'I'm a pretty girl,' but this was something physical that I had no control over. It took me a while to figure out if I was still worthy, if I was still pretty."
We know she's still worth and pretty. Of course. Losing a leg doesn't change that. But I think we can all sympathize since is is something no one would want to go through.
Something you think would never happen to you.
So what is TSS?
The Mayo Clinic defines TSS as:
"Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.
Toxic shock syndrome historically has been associated primarily with the use of superabsorbent tampons. However, since manufacturers pulled certain types of tampons off the market, the incidence of toxic shock syndrome in menstruating women has declined."
Just because you use tampons doesn't mean you will definitely get TSS. It's pretty rare. To minimize your chances of getting the potentially-deadly infection, here are some things you can do:
-Wear the lowest absorbancy tampon. On light days, wear light tampons.
-Change your tampon every 4-8 hours, or whatever time-frame is suggested on the tampon box.
-Wash your hands before you change your tampon so you don't spread bacteria.
-Use alternative menstrual protection, which I'll list at the end.
How do you know if you have TSS? There are the signs to watch for, according to the Mayo Clinic:
-A sudden high fever
-Low blood pressure
-Vomiting or diarrhea
-A rash resembling a sunburn, especially on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet
-Redness of your eyes, mouth, and throat
I personally avoid tampons anyway, which is what I recommend you do for the sake of your health. Not only are tampons associated with TSS, but mainstream brands are full of chemicals, fillers, and pesticides. All of that gets absorbs into your blood stream through the walls of your vagina. Remember, we love our vaginas, so we should keep them healthy!
I used to swear by tampons. I loved the clean feeling. But I now use safer, greener products that save me money in the long run. And still keep me clean!
This post contains affiliate links. That means, if you click on the links and make a purchase, you help support Period Fairy! Thanks if you do, but no pressure.
The product I can vouch for the most is the Lunette Menstrual Cup. Click here to read my review.
Click here to visit lunette.com/store/
This beautiful little cup can be worn for up to twelve (twelve!!) hours without risk of TSS. You simply fold the cup, insert it and push until you feel it pop open, wear, and remove to rinse so you can wear it again. Best thing ever.
My second suggestion is a product I bought last month, but won't be able to use for quite a while. (Because I won't have periods for nine months!) This product, my friends, is The Sea Sponge Tampon.
I wrote more about it here.
Honestly, I'm more excited to try this than to use the menstrual cup again. For one reason: The minerals. Because this sponge comes straight from the sea, it has all the wonderful minerals from the sea. And just like chemicals from tampons are absorbed through our vaginas, the minerals from the sea sponge would be absorbed. That's a good thing. Women have even said it made their periods less painful. Yes, please!
There are more green products out there, but these two are my favorite. No-risk.
Stay informed. Stay safe. And love yourselves, ladies.