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TSS is always a risk with tampon use - tampon-related TSS can be prevented by using safer options like menstrual cups or softcups, which have never been associated with TSS or other health risks.

Tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours - bacteria multiply exponentially and tampons encourage bacterial growth while preventing vaginal cleaning, 8 hours is too long to leave a tampon and if you can go that long without leaking you're using too high an absorbency.

Additional prevention while using tampons;

• Avoid rayon tampons e.g. Tampax, Playtex, Kotex, instead opt for cotton tampons such as Cottons, Natracare or Maxim which pose far lower risk of TSS, infections, and don't contain toxins such as dioxin.

• Alternate with pads, ideally for 8 hours, to allow the vagina to clean, re-adjust pH and heal after tampon use. Pads should always be used overnight, and with very light flow, also if you have an infection.

• Wash hands before use, and be sure to check the tampon for signs of mould or dirt - store tampons in clean dry place, remember than tampons are sanitary but not sterile so can harbour bacteria prior to use.

TSS can occur at any time - it is a myth that it only occurs from improper tampon use or leaving tampons too long - although rare it is more common than many people believe, many women have had a milder form of TSS without knowing it or been misdiagnosed.

July 1, 2013 - 4:47pm


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