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I AM in Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality
Feb 13

Toxic Shock Syndrome

Posted By iamincontrol | February 13, 2018

If you are someone who gets a period, you’ve probably heard about toxic shock syndrome. Toxic shock syndrome is caused by too much bacteria in the bloodstream. Although it is possible to get toxic shock syndrome, it is very unlikely. Iowa hasn’t had any cases since 2015! There are several ways to decrease your risk if you have a period:

  • Use external or non-absorbent period products (pads or menstrual cups). This will make it less likely that bacteria will grow.
  • If you prefer tampons, make sure to choose lower absorbency types and to change them about every 4 hours (and never leave one in longer than 8!).
  • There is also a risk of toxic shock syndrome with certain types of birth control, like the diaphragm and sponge, so ask your doctor about how to use them safely.

If you experience any of the following symptoms while wearing a tampon, diaphragm, or sponge, take it out immediately and see a doctor:

  • Fever
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • A rash similar to a sunburn anywhere on the body
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe muscle aches or weakness

If you’re still worried about toxic shock syndrome, ask family and friends how they deal with their period and how they stay safe. Always talk to your doctor about concerns and they can give you advice and up-to-date information!

Read more about preventing Toxic Shock Syndrome here:

Read more about alternative menstrual products here: