Although rare, TSS is a serious and sometimes fatal illness that has been associated with tampon use. A result of toxins created by the Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, TSS can occur in men, women, and children, but most frequently occurs in menstruators, particularly those 30 and younger. The FDA has estimated an annual incidence rate of 1-17 cases per 100,000 menstruators. TSS is treatable, but can also be fatal, so it is important to recognize symptoms early and to seek treatment from your doctor.
TSS warning signs can resemble flu symptoms. Pay special attention to:
• Sudden high fever (102°F or more) with or without chills
• Vomiting, diarrhea
• Fainting, dizziness
• Muscle aches or sunburn-like rash, which can progress rapidly from flu-like symptoms to a fatal illness
• Use tampons only during menstruation
• Replace the used tampon with a new one every 4-8 hours
• Use the lowest absorbency tampon that meets the needs of your moon
• You can wear a tampon overnight for up to 8 hours, but it’s best to put a new tampon in right before you go to bed and to replace it immediately after you’ve woken up in the morning
• Be sure to remove the last tampon you use at the end of your moon
If you are concerned about or are experiencing any of these symptoms during tampon use, remove your tampon and contact your doctor. If you’ve experienced TSS in the past, please consult your doctor before using duets™.
To reduce your risk of TSS, consider alternating your tampon use with pads, or if your flow allows, the liner in your duets™.
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