Tampons are associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a rare but very serious illness that can develop rapidly in anyone. But don't worry - there are only about 20 cases reported each year across the UK.
Symptoms can include:
- A sudden high fever usually over 39 degrees
- Muscle aches
- A sunburn like rash
- Dizziness and/or fainting
- Severe flu-like feeling
In the unlikely event that symptoms of TSS occur, remove the tampon and consult a doctor immediately. If left untreated, TSS can be fatal.
By doing the following actions, you can reduce the risk of TSS occurring:
- Insert a fresh tampon at night before going to sleep and replace it first thing in the morning
- Change your tampon every 4 to 8 hours, or more often if needed
- Consider switching between tampons and pads/liners from time to time during your period
- Always wash your hands before and after inserting a tampon
- Only use tampons during menstruation, and only use one at any time and ensure the removal of the last tampon once menstruation has finished.
Dispose of tampons, applicator tubes and wrappers in a waste bin and do not flush any of these down the toilet.